Defending champions Tusker hope for bright start against AFC Leopards

Tusker FC celebrating their win against Gor Mahia during FKF Super Cup curtain raiser match for the 2021/22 season at The Thika Stadium. Sept 22, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Defending champions Tusker will be seeking to launch their Football Kenya Federation Premier League title defence with a win when they travel to play AFC Leopards at Thika Stadium on Sunday.

Fresh from winning the Super Cup on post-match penalties against Gor Mahia, Tusker will be eying for a perfect start after roping in new players.

While Leopards has signed no players after losing senior players who played a crucial role in the clubs fourth place finish last season, Tusker have bolstered their squad immensely.

The brewers have roped in more than 12 players not only for the title defence but also for the continental assignment.

Tanzanian import Ibrahim Joshua, former Kakamega Homeboyz striker Shami Kibwana and Ugandan striker Deogratius Ojok have all debuted with goals for Tusker during the Caf Champions League preliminary round and FKF Super Cup and they are expected to play a key role against Ingwe.

Barred to sign any player for failing to pay former players and coaches who have sued them, Leopards will have to field part of their youth team.

Key players who have ditched Ingwe from last season’s squad are Elvis Rupia, Collins Shichnje, Clyde Senaji, Hansel Ochieng, Benjamin Ochan, John Oyemba, Robinson Kamura among others.

Last season, Tusker edged Ingwe 2-0 in the second leg after Leopards took the first leg 2-1. However, in their last five meeting, Tusker has reign supreme winning three, drawing one and losing one.

Tusker never rested after the conclusion of last season, and is already enjoying the momentum they have built in the CAF Champions League matches, having eliminated Djibouti champions Arta Solar 7 on 4-1 aggregate.

The Brewers also warmed up for the season opener with an FKF Super Cup win over Gor Mahia on Wednesday.

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