Gor Mahia aim to extend their lead in the Kenyan Premier League but they will have to navigate their way past Nzoia United on Saturday in Kisumu.
The league resumes after the international break with coaches hoping the players who were on duty for their nations are back in good shape.
On Saturday, third placed Posta Rangers play Nakumatt, Bandari clash with Kariobangi Sharks in Mombasa, Kakamega Homeboyz will be in Mumias against Thika United while Muhoroni host Ulinzi Stars with relegation threatened Mathare United playing Western Stima.
On Sunday, second placed Sofapaka take on Chemelil Sugar, Sony Sugar face Tusker and Zoo Kericho clash with AFC Leopards.
Gor Mahia at the top of the league table with 44 points, six ahead of Sofapaka are still unbeaten under Dylan Kerr start favourites on paper against Nzoia but historically, Nzoia has given the 15 time Kenya champions sleepless nights. K’Ogalo won the first leg 1-0 in Mumias and will be seeking to go for a double against the sugarbelt side who made a return to the top flight league after almost a decade out.
The league leaders will be without Godfrey Walusimbi who has been with the Uganda Cranes in Uganda while Burundian defender Karim Nzigiyimana and midfielder Earnest Wendo are unfit.
That leaves coach Kerr with a tough task of filling in the fullback positions though he has Wellington Ochieng who can play in the left fullback role and Joash Onyango or Innocent Wafula for the right back position. Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza is likely to take the position of Wendo.
“We do not have Walusimbi for the game, but we are still monitoring Wendo and Nzigiyimana who have not trained since returning from international duty,” Kerr told dimbasports.com.
A win for Gor Mahia will extend their lead at the top of the league to nine.
But Posta Rangers are hot in their heels and are likely to collect maximum points against a cash strapped Nakumatt FC whose players have not trained together for some time.
But Rangers coach Sammy Omollo remains cautious.
“We can not under rate Nakumatt based on their last few games,” Omollo said.
Kariobangi Sharks will be seeing to continue with their fine run but they will have to be at their best against a Bandari side that is usually strong at home. Sharks, in their first season in the top league have so far defied odds and are in the fourth spot with 34 points, 10 off leaders Gor Mahia.
Ulinzi Stars, fresh from winning the regional military games championships look to increase Muhoroni Youth’s relegation nightmares when they meet in Muhoroni. Muhoroni Youth have 18 points, just one ahead of bottom placed Thika United in the battle against the chop that also involves Mathare who at 22 points will take on an Western Stima are 16th with 21 points.
The match that will be on focus on Sunday will be that between second placed Sofapaka who take on Chemelil Sugar.
Sofapaka who last season fought relegation for most part of the season have been in fine form this season under coach Sam Ssimbwa.
“We want to keep winning. But we also have to ensure we do not concede easy goals,” Ssimbwa said.
“We are ready for Chemelil,” the Ugandan added.
Tusker, who look to be on the path of relinquishing the title will be up against Sony Sugar in Awendo as coach George “Best” Nsimbe looks foward to improve on the performance of the champions.
“We have not been performing well, but I hope we shall improve and catch up with the leaders,” said Nsimbe whose side is ninth with 30 points.
Nakumatt Posta V Rangers (Ruaraka Grounds)
Mathare United V Western Stima (Ruaraka Grounds)
Bandari v Kariobangi Sharks ( Mbaraki Sports Club, Mombasa)
Gor Mahia V Nzoia Sugar (Moi Stadium, Kisumu)
Kakamega Homeboyz V Thika United (Mumias Sports Complex)
Muhoroni Youth v Ulinzi Stars (Muhoroni Grounds)
Sofapaka V Chemelil Sugar (Narok County Stadium)
SonySugar V Tusker (Awendo Green Stadium, Migori)
Zoo v AFC Leopards ( Kericho Green Stadium)