Kariobangi Sharks and Gor Mahia are confident of overcoming their first round opponents in Caf Confederation and Caf Champions League respectively.
Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier believes that his side has what it takes to dim Nigeria’s Lobi Stars in their Champions League first round tie. Gor Mahia dismissed Malawian champions Nyasa Big Bullets while Lobi Stars eliminated Cameroon’s USM de Loum in preliminaries.
"We are suffering from match fitness as some of our new signings are yet to click and the coach is just settling in. The players know the importance of winning this tie," said Rachier.
Should K’Ogalo lock out the Nigerians, they will progress to the money-spinning Champions League group stages. If they fail to beat Lobi Stars, they will drop to the second round of Confederation Cup where they will meet another team before they can qualify for group stages.
Last season, the Kenyan champions dropped off in the first round of the Champions League before eliminating South Africa’s SuperSport United and progressed into Confederation’s pool stages.
The mood is equally positive and bullish in Sharks’ camp after thrashing Djibouti minnows Arta Solar 9-1 in Confederations Cup preliminaries. The debutants have now set their eyes on Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko in first round.
Sharks chairman Robert Maoga says that his sides easy win over Arta Solar will only serve as a motivating factor for them when they welcome the Ghanaians in the country next week. “The Ghanaians have been very vocal on social media but we do fear them. They are not match-fit as they have not played any competitive match for five months. They should ask Gor Mahia what we are capable of,” he said.
The Ghanaian top league was suspended in July after revelations of widespread match-fixing involving several referees and top football administrators.
Sharks will be hoping to welcome back the 2018 Sportpesa Premier League player of the year Eric Kapaito who missed the Arta Solar clash with a calf injury.