Kisumu ready to play host for ‘Nyanza derby’

Friday, March 24th, 2023 07:20 | By
Patrick Ochieng of Kisumu All Stars (right) clears the ball under pressure from Eric Ambunya of Tusker FC during their KPL match at Ruaraka grounds. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Two neighbours and close rivals Shabana FC and Kisumu All-Stars FC might be far apart in the league standings when they meet on Saturday and just like their games before, it is always bound to be a cracker. This Nyanza Derby will headline seven matches lined up this weekend.

All-Stars, also known as Otenga, host league leaders Tore Bobe at Moi Stadium in Kisumu tomorrow in a game of significance for both teams as the National Super League enters Round 19 this weekend.

Runaway leaders Shabana are on an impressive 11 win roll off 15 games with 35 points earned in the process. On the other end, the Lakeside Boys are 16 points adrift in 11th place with 19 points in the bag but with two matches in hand.

In their last two matches, both teams had conflicting results with All-Stars tying 1-1 with third-placed Kibera Black Stars while Shabana’s last game was a 2-0 win over second-placed Murang’a Seal.

In their last two meetings, both picked a win apiece with the first leg in January 2022 going to All-Stars way in a 1-0 victory and the second leg in July 2022 going 2-1 to Shabana.

In August 2021, All-Stars inflicted the biggest loss to their rivals following a 4-1 drubbing at the same venue. Both tacticians on either end are expected to unleash an attacking formula to counter the other.

In another enticing game, second-placed Muranga Seal will seek to get back to winning ways when they host gritty fourth-placed Gusii FC at St. Sebastian Park.

Biggest loss

The two teams are only separated by a single point, Seal has 26 points currently on a goal difference of 11 while Gusii with 25 points has a goal difference of 13. In their last two games, only a single goal was scored.

In their first meeting last season at Gusii Stadium, the teams went goal-less and in the return leg in June of the same year, Seal won 1-0. Central Kenya team, therefore, has a dual headstart by the fact that they are home and have collected four points in their previous two encounters against the same opponents.

 Seal in recent times has dropped points against Shabana in their 0-2 loss last weekend and a 1-1 tie with Darajani Gogo in midweek. However, to their advantage, they have a match in hand.

Meanwhile, Kibera Black Stars have a chance to push ahead when they travel to lowly Kajiado FC Sunday. Black Stars in third place are on 25 points and head coach Evans Ogutu knows full well that points on the road are critical to keeping pressure on the leading pack.

Coming off a 1-1 draw last weekend, the Slum boys will be facing a disjointed Kajiado side who are 14th in the log with 10 points. The newcomers who have only won three times in 15 games are looking primed for relegation if nothing shifts under their feet.

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