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Leopards can be caged

By | March 11th 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By ROBIN TOSKIN

Muhoroni Youth coach Alfred Imonje believes AFC Leopards is beatable and a high tempo game should unlock their defence that is yet to concede a goal after four rounds.

Muhoroni have already shocked Gor Mahia at Nyayo Stadium. Although the newcomers have gone on to lose to Chemelil and Tusker, Imonje says there is nowhere to hide.

Instead, he said: "We have to come out fighting. We are in the same league with Leopards and so we must play them.

"I think Leopards are strong in attack and midfield, but their defence can be breached. What we need to do is increase the tempo, play high intensity football and we should open that defence," Imonje said.

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Mode of play

AFC Leopards are spitting fire after sweeping aside Ulinzi Stars with clinical efficiency, Muhoroni start as firm underdogs at Nyayo National Stadium at 3pm.

"It is always good to keep winning, but it is also important that we go about our business with humility," AFC Leopards coach Jan Koops said in midweek in response to Muhoroni’s potential threat.

Muhoroni are quick to break forward, always sitting back to absorb pressure in a formation that has Geoffrey Simiyu playing at the tip of a bloated midfield.

But Imonje says they can adapt to situations and identifies AFC Leopard’s strength in a 4-3-3 formation.

"They can be lethal with Wanga (Allan) playing at the centre and Bageya (Jimmy) and Baraza (Mike) on the flanks. Their midfield of Mang’oli, Okwemba, Kinje and Imbalambala is also good. However, there is an answer to every situation," Imonje said.

Muhoroni have played with guile, but it has not been enough to keep points flowing in and must contend with a Leopards side enjoying their best spell since 2001 when they won the Moi Golden Cup and way back in 1997, the last time they won the Premier League title and Cecafa Club title.

Midfield dynamo Charles Okwemba missed the Ulinzi cracker through illness, but as the result may suggest, he was not missed.

"The good thing is we play for each other. There is also the aspect of depth and confidence that whoever is selected will do the club proud," Okwemba said.

Koops, too, underlined the importance of depth pointing out roles played by Amon Muchiri after Abbasi Kiwalabye was bruised by a sprinkler on the Nyayo Stadium turf.

"Amon has come in and you don’t notice the absence of Abbasi," Koops said.

A win for Leopards will return them at the top of the table.


Muhoroni AFC Leopards coach Alfred Imonje
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