As Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards prepare to renew rivalry in tomorrow’s Mashemeji derby at Kasarani Stadium, all the top eight teams will be fighting to go top of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table starting today.
Eleven time champions and league leaders Tusker (16 points) face a test of character against fourth placed KCB at Afraha Stadium today as unbeaten and sixth ranked Mathare United travel to face troubled Sony Sugar in Awendo.
Tusker, Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards (15 points), KCB, Kakamega Homeboyz and Mathare (14 points) are only separated by two points as the league enters the round nine.
In another highlight of the weekend, Homeboyz will collide with their Kisumu-based rivals Western Stima (13 points) at Bukhungu Stadium tomorrow, while Ulinzi Stars host wounded Bandari in Nakuru.
A victory for any of the top eight teams today and a contrasting result for their rivals will see them go top of the table pending tomorrow’s fixtures.
Though KCB captain Michael Kibwage, whose side rested last weekend, is wary of Tusker threat, he believes the bankers have what it takes to overcome the brewers and leapfrog them at the summit.
“We have trained well and look fresh after resting last weekend.
“It will be a tough match because both of us want to be at the top of the table,” Kibwage told Standard Sports.
“Tusker are currently on a good run and want to remain at the summit, but on our side we are targeting to leapfrog them. This is a big game and a win for either team will be massive.
“But being at home we are determined and ready to stamp authority against them. The boys are really motivated and looking forward to the match.”
And fresh from helping his side end record champions Gor Mahia’s (1-0) five game unbeaten record on Wednesday, Mathare left back David Owino says they have set their sights on chalking up their fourth win of the campaign in Awendo.
“We have had very many difficult matches but the win over Gor Mahia has given us more confidence as we travel to Sony.
“We are going to Awendo with one target; get another win and go on top of the table,” said Owino.
Owino’s coach Salim Ali was very evasive on title talk despite the 2008 league champions’ unbeaten run.