Sports

Leaders Naivas and Nairobi Utd face in tricky fixture as NSL continue

Friday, February 9th, 2024 01:00 | By
International winger Paul Were (left) is unveiled as a Mathare United player yesterday by club CEO Jacktone Obure. Mathare is among the top NSL sides currentl. PHOTO/David Ndolo

Premiership hopefuls Naivas FC and Nairobi United will be up against tricky opposition this weekend as they hope to stay put in the title fight to the very end.

Leaders Naivas who are on 42 points with 13 wins so far in 18 matches face off with 10th-placed Rainbow FC at the Mpesa Foundation in Thika.

The newcomers are on a good run having won four times in the last five matches and currently sit on 24 points. As such, this should be a tricky encounter all factors considered.

On paper, the high-flying Retailers should be favourites but Rainbow under Stanley Okumbi can cause problems. Both teams had successful results in the last round with Naivas seeing off fourth-placed Nairobi United 2-0 in a Nairobi derby while the table-toppers thrashed relegation-threatened Silibwet Leons 3-1.

Interesting statistics show that Naivas has yet to lose any of their past seven home matches and has also maintained a clean sheet in their last two games. However, as for Rainbow, their goal ratio and concession are also at par with goals netted in all their five past games.

Meanwhile, fresh from their disappointing 0-2 loss to Naivas last week, Nairobi United will be going back to the drawing board in a feisty encounter featuring 13th-placed Dimba Patriots. The two newbies have had a contrasting run with the latter winning only twice in the past six matches.

Dimba have a 0 goal difference (21/21) and have won only five times in 18 matches played just to show the real struggle in the National Super League. This should offer Nairobi United an opportunity to get closer to the top and better their current 35 points.

Dimba and MCF went goalless last weekend but Dimba’s recent record where they have dropped eight points out of 15 points might be something of a concern. In other fixtures; other contenders Mathare United in second and third Mara Sugar FC will be on the road against Luanda Villa and SS Assad respectively.

The slum boys have been boosted by the acquisition of former Kenya International Paul Were into the fold and Coach Leonard Odipo might find crucial minutes for the experienced winger away in Butere.

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