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Plenty at stake as Wazito host Tusker in Kisumu

 Tusker’s Thomas Teka (left) vies for the ball with Wazito's Christopher Raila during their FKF Premier League match at Ruaraka Grounds on April 19. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

There will be a lot at stake as defending FKF Premier League champions Tusker tackle Wazito at Muhoroni Stadium today (3pm).

While Tusker are fighting to retain the title, their hosts Wazito are battling to avoid being relegated to the National Super League (NSL) next season.

Wazito, who relocated to Muhoroni in Kisumu after the change of ownership, have warned the brewers to be prepared for a difficult match.

Wazito currently occupy the promotion/relegation playoffs spot with 23 points, a point above fellow strugglers Mathare United who take on Kakamega Homeboyz tomorrow.

According to Football Kenya Federation's rule book, the 16th placed team at the end of the season will fight to retain their Premier League status with the third-placed team from the NSL.

Speaking ahead of the match, Wazito coach Charles Odera said though they have much respect for Tusker, they must give their best to keep their survival hopes alive. 

“It is going to be a very tough and intense match. Of course, we respect Tusker; they are the defending champions and current leaders who have been playing well and in good form," said Odera.

“However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot play top level football because we have quality players amongst our ranks and with the unwavering support we have at Muhoroni we are going for maximum points."

Muhoroni Stadium has proven to be not only an intimidating venue but also hostile territory for the visitors this season with several clubs including record champions Gor Mahia finding it tough to collect the maximum points against the hosts. 

Early last month, police officers had to lob tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd at Muhoroni Stadium after K’Ogalo and Wazito fans clashed before the game that ended in 0-0.

Other teams said to have faced the same include AFC Leopards, Talanta and Bandari who even lodged a complaint to the federation after their 2-2 draw in February.

Tusker are battling with record champions Gor Mahia for this year’s gong. With three matches left, Robert Matano's men lead the log with 64 points, one more point than Gor who take on Ulinzi Stars tomorrow.

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