Suprise package Nzoia Sugar face leaders Tusker in a top-of-the-table clash as Police host Ulinzi
Bragging rights in the leadership of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League are at stake tomorrow when Tusker takes on Nzoia Sugar in a top-of-the-table clash at the Ruaraka Stadium.
Tusker leads the pack with 18 points while Nzoia is a point adrift in the second position, with the latter seeking an outright win to dislodge the bottlers
Although still early in the season to predict their destiny, Nzoia, who are almost toe-to-toe with Tusker, seemed determined to rediscover the exploits that made them one of the most feared teams in the top-tier league.
The Bungoma side represented Kenya in the CAF Championships League in 2003 where they were bundled out in the first round and whether they have the pedigree to repeat the feat remains to be seen.
But looking at Nzoia’s records since the 2022/2023 league kicked once, one can’t help but think that all their opponents, especially defending champions Tusker who they are meeting in Ruaraka, ought to be extra careful lest such history of the Western Kenya side repeats itself.
The team’s coach Salim Babu was earlier quoted saying that they are not in the league to make up numbers but to challenge for the title despite losing 1-0 to Gor Mahia at the start of the campaign
“We are serious about the title challenge despite a stuttering start. There is the resolve to do well and I have instructed the players to continue working hard. Most of the success can be attributed to determination and resilience in the face of tough opposition,” said Babu.
Nzoia has the ideal players to do the job against Tusker including the likes of Ian Simiyu, Alfred Emoni and Hassan Karege,
But then, it may not be easy for Nzoia considering that Tusker are eyeing redemption after going down 2-1 to Bandari in Mombasa last weekend.
Tusker left the Mbaraki Stadium pitch a disenchanted lot and not even a face-saver by Jackson Macharia could appease Head Coach Robert Matano.
For Matano, nothing will be as good as having Macharia carry along his scoring boots again and together with Deogratous Ojok will be shouldered with prising open Nzoia Sugar’s defence line.
Meanwhile, battle lines are drawn in the battle of the Disciplined Forces between Kenya Police and Ulinzi in Kasarani.
The first leg between the two teams ended all square (0-0) and it will be more than interesting to watch which team shall carry the day to receive that dignified salute.
Both teams will be going into the fixture with settled nerves having won their latest fixture, Police edging Kariobangi Sharks 2-1 and Ulinzi Stars getting the better of Wazito in a 1-0 victory.