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Moment of reckoning for Polack in Mashemeji Derby

Saturday November 9 2019

Gor Mahia head coach Steve Polack gives instructions during their training session at Camp Toyoyo grounds, Nairobi on November 9, 2019 on the eve of the Mashemeji Derby against rivals AFC Leopards. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Gor Mahia head coach Steve Polack gives instructions during their training session at Camp Toyoyo grounds, Nairobi on November 9, 2019 on the eve of the Mashemeji Derby against rivals AFC Leopards. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

JEFF KINYANJUI
By JEFF KINYANJUI
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Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will lock horns at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani on Sunday 3pm.

Twenty two thousand regular and 1000 VIP tickets have been printed. A regular ticket will retail at Sh200 while each VIP ticket costs Sh500. They go on sale from 9am outside Safari Park, Ngomongo Police Station, Roysambu roundabout and at the match venue outside gates 12 and 2. The host club, Gor Mahia, has revealed that gate 4 will remain closed with fans advised to use gates 2, 6, 8 and 12 to access the stadium.

Both teams held their final training sessions Saturday morning with Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack exuding confidence ahead of the game. This will be his first Mashemeji derby since he took charge of Gor Mahia in August.

“We have had good sessions since Thursday and I am contented with the level the team is in at the moment. I am aware what this particular game means to the club and that alone is pumping me up. The players too want to win and have shown desire and hunger in training,” Polack told Nation Sport at Camp Toyoyo grounds on Saturday.

The team welcomes back left back Geoffrey Ochieng, who missed the 1-0 loss to Mathare United on Wednesday, but will miss right back Wellington Ochieng who is still nursing a hamstring injury. Bernard Ondiek, naturally a midfielder, could be slotted in his place.

Gor completed a double over their nemesis last season but AFC Leopards team manager Tom Juma says his team is eager to slay the champions on Sunday. “We respect them but we do not fear them. We have finalized our preparations and are now ready for the game. Our target this time is definitely to win. Gor Mahia have dominated the derby in recent times but that is about to change,” said Juma, a former Kenyan international.

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AFC Leopards could also start with Clyde Senaji, a midfielder in defence. The former Tusker player was slotted in central defence in the team’s last two matches due to injuries to several defenders and did well. With captain Robinson Kamura only resuming training recently, Senaji is likely to continue in the makeshift role.

Probable starting line-ups

Gor Mahia

David Mapigano (GK), Charles Momanyi, Joash Onyango, Geoffrey Ochieng, Bernard Ondiek, Tobias Otieno, Kenneth Muguna, Clifton Miheso, Lawrence Juma, Yikpe Gislain, Nicholas Kipkirui

AFC Leopards

Benjamin Ochan (GK), Dennis Sikhayi, Soter Kayumba, Clyde Senaji, Isaac Kipyegon, Tresor Ndikumana, Hansel Ochieng, Eugene Mukangula, John Mark Makwata, Saad Musa, Whyvonne Isuza

FIXTURES (kick off 3pm EAT)

Kakamega Homeboyz v Western Stima – Bukhungu

Zoo v Nzoia Sugar – Kericho

Sofapaka v Wazito – Narok

Sony Sugar v Mathare United – Awendo

Ulinzi Stars v Bandari – Nakuru

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