Last year Bandari registered identical 2-1 wins over reigning Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia. This year, K’Ogalo has already earned its revenge by registering 1-0 wins – first in the league in April and then in the Super Cup in August.
The two teams meet again Sunday afternoon at Mbaraki and if previous encounters between the two sides is anything to go by, this promises to be a cracker.
Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack is optimistic his side will get the maximum points; “We have no major injury concerns and that is a good thing. We approach this game just like we do with any other game we play – with a winning mentality. I have told my players to have no fear despite the fact that we are playing in Mombasa. They need to enjoy the game and get the three points,” he told Nation Sport on Saturday
The team will, however, miss right-back Wellington Ochieng and custodian Peter Odhiambo, who are still nursing injuries.
Bandari is yet to win a game this month having lost 3-1 to Western Stima in its first match of the month, was beaten by a solitary goal by Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru in the second and drew 2-2 with AFC Leopards on Thursday in Mombasa.
This being their last match of the month, club chairman Musa Hassan says the team is eager to end the bad run.
“As a club we are concerned with our recent results. Gor Mahia are a good team and we respect them. We expect a very tough match but we have prepared well and we are ready for the challenge.
We hope to win and return to the positive path the team started on this season,” he said.
Posta Rangers are in fine form this season and are currently second on the log with 18 points from 11 matches. They host sixth-placed Tusker in Machakos and the Mail Men are eager to inflict more pain on Tusker who haven’t won in their last two outings.
“We have a full squad that is very ready for the match. The players have worked very hard this season so far and I think our rise has been due to the fact that we are defending better as a team and our off the ball work ethic has really improved. At the beginning of the season we would concede easy goals but we have since rectified that,” coach Sammy “Pamzo” Omolo said.
Despite the fact that they are second in the standings, “Pamzo” is not thinking of wrestling the title from Gor Mahia yet; “The league is still in its early stages and it would be very wrong for me or the team to even harbour such thoughts at this moment.
We have been battling relegation for the past two seasons but so far we have done well and I am certain we will not get into a situation where we have to fight for survival. That is a big achievement,” he added.
Tusker coach Robert Matano believes the team has been unlucky. Despite Posta’s fine run, the experienced tactician says they are not afraid and will be going for the three points.
They have been boosted by the return of midfielder Humphrey Mieno who scored as the team shared spoils with Stima on Thursday, but could miss Sammy Meja who was injured in the team’s 2-2 draw with Western Stima on Thursday.
“We have been playing well but lady luck has not been smiling on us. We have prepared well for this match and I hope things will be different,” he said.
In other matches afternoon, AFC Leopards will host Kisumu All Stars in a late kick off match in Machakos, financially-struggling Chemelil faces Mathare United in Awasi, Ulinzi Stars takes on Nzoia Sugar at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, while Sofapaka and Zoo will battle in Narok.
Posta Rangers v Tusker – Machakos – 2pm
AFC Leopards v Kisumu All Stars – Machakos – 4:15pm
Chemelil Sugar v Mathare United – Chemelil – 3pm
Ulinzi Stars v Nzoia Sugar – Nakuru – 3pm
Bandari v Gor Mahia – Mbaraki – 3pm (Live on TV)
Sofapaka v Zoo – Narok – 3pm
Wazito v Kariobangi Sharks – Machakos – 3pm
Western Stima v KCB – Kisumu – 3pm