Arnold Origi will be available for the Mozambique match after all, as Harambee Stars team manager Edward Oduor says Origi, who had left for his Norwegian club Moss FK last week, is expected back home on Tuesday.
“Origi is expected in the country tomorrow (Tuesday) and should join the rest in camp immediately,” said Oduor.
Also expected to join the Stars’ camp on Tuesday is Taiwo Atieno, the US-based British-born striker who earned another call-up to the national following Kenya’s dismal performance in Abuja.
Also making a comeback at the provisional squad are Thomas Wanyama, Hillary Echesa, Crispin Odula and Mike Baraza.
After landing from Nigeria, coach Antoine Hey had said that Taiwo was expected to breathe new life into the poorly performing striking force. It is still unclear, however, if the citizenship issues that locked the striker out of the team before the Tunisia match have been resolved.
Stars captain Musa Otieno has meanwhile expressed optimism despite the team’s sudden loss of form in the 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
But the 36-year-old skipper warned his players that they need to quickly “get back on track” if they are to withstand the challenge of Nigeria, Tunisia and, increasingly, on-form Mozambique.
Stars’ imperious form in the previous round of the qualifiers has been checked in this last stage, which has seen the national side occupy the bottom of Group Two with no point.
And Otieno believes the team cannot afford another slip-up when they take on Mozambique at Kasarani on Saturday.
“We need to bounce back and recover, but we said that after the Tunisia game and we didn’t do that in Nigeria,” Otieno said. “Now there are no more chances for us; we need to make sure we start winning games and get back on a winning run.
“We’ve got a vital game coming up against Black Mambas on Saturday and I don’t think anyone will underestimate the importance of that match. Now that we have had a two-week break, we need to focus and get ourselves back on track.”
And although central defender George Owino picked a knee injury in Abuja and right-back Mulinge Munandi is away with his club Ulinzi Stars, Otieno insists they will have the same strength as in Nigeria.
Squad at camp:
Goalkeepers: Willis Ochieng, George Odhiambo, David Okello; Defenders: Crispin Odula, Thomas Wanyama, John Njoroge, Pascal Ochieng, Musa Otieno, Julius Owino, Joseph Shikokoti; Midfielders: McDonald Mariga, Osborn Monday, Victor Mugabe, Austin Makacha, Robert Mambo; Strikers: Mike Baraza, Patrick Oboya, Allan Wanga, Peter Opiyo