Fireworks are expected at Camp Toyoyo on Sunday when fifth-placed Nairobi Stima tackle Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in a must-win National Super League tie for both sides as the race for promotion to the top flight reaches the business end.
In Nakuru, third-placed Wazito will be up against Ezekiel Akwana’s Nakuru AllStars - who sit ninth on the log – while promotion-chasing Vihiga United will visit Palos in Kisumu on Wednesday.
At the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday, Benson Amianda will hope to inspire Ken Kenyatta’s Ushuru past Palos as the tax men aim for an immediate return to the SportPesa Premier League.
KCB fell 2-0 to Stima in the first leg match staged in Naivasha and the bankers’ coach Leonard Saleh knows that tomorrow’s tie offers them a chance to keep tabs on leaders Ushuru.
The bankers will miss the services of defender Dennis Orenge, who is suspended for accumulation of five yellow cards but have Simon Abuko to rely on for goals. The former Oserian and AFC Leopards winger has 15 goals in the second tier this season.
The beauty of the fixture is that both clubs are based in Ruaraka with KCB holding their training sessions about 500m away from Stima Club, home to their opponents.
Former Kenyan internationals Ibrahim Shikanda and Fred Ambani have turned Stima into serious title contenders.
“The players know how important the game is. Any slip up will disadvantage both sides and being a derby, we expect fireworks but we are ready for it,” said Ambani.
Wazito coach Frank Ouna has challenged his boys to continue with their free scoring spree after putting five past Agrochemicals last weekend.
“I have always told my players that we should be scoring more than three goals in every game because we create so many chances,” Ouna, who doubles up as Harambee Stars assistant coach said.
Wazito will do without suspended experienced midfielder Anthony Gathu.
Ushuru are atop the 19-team NSL table with 72 points while Agrochemicals and Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture (Mosca) are battling at the bottom end of the standings.
Nakuru AllStars v Wazito (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru, 11am)
Palos v Ushuru (Moi Stadium, Kisumu, 3pm)
Talanta v Isibania (Camp Toyoyo, 2pm)
KCB v Nairobi Stima (Camp Toyoyo, 4.15pm)
City Stars v Administration Police (Hope Centre, 1pm)
Kibera Black Stars v Modern Coast Rangers (Hope Centre, 3.15pm)
Kenya Police v St. Joseph Youth (Karuturi Sports, 1pm)
Agrochemicals v GFE 105 (Muhoroni Stadium, 3pm)
MOSCA v Bidco United (Camp Toyoyo, 3pm)