Leopards eager to spoil K’Ogalo party - Here's how they plan to do it

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Saturday, August 25th 2018 at 09:25 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr [COURTESY]

Will run-away SportPesa Premier League leaders Gor Mahia complete a double over AFC Leopards at Kasarani today? Or will AFC Leopards avenge the first leg Mashemeji derby loss and delay their eternal rivals’ inevitable coronation?

The two in-form giants collide at Kasarani Stadium at 4 pm today in a match that could see K’Ogalo seal an unprecedented 17th Premier League title with six games to spare.

With an unassailable 20-point lead (68), only a victory for joint-second placed Ingwe (48) would delay Gor’s early title celebrations.

Gor Mahia face AFC Leopards in yet another Mashemeji Derby [COURTESY] 

But a draw would guarantee Gor back to back titles depending on the result between Bandari and Nzoia Sugar in Mombasa today.

Dylan Kerr’s men established a formidable lead by going unbeaten in the competition for 22 games before Bandari dramatically ended the run with a 2-1 victory at Mbaraki Sports Club.

Though history favours Gor Mahia, going by the latest results, both teams are coming off quite an impressive four-game winning streak. Save for the three points, there is still a lot at stake; revenge, pride and bragging rights.

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While Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava has stressed it does not matter when the title is won, young Leopards defender Michael Kibwage wants his teammates to cause an upset and become the second team to beat the fierce rivals in the league this season.

AFC Leopards coach Rodolfo Zapata [COURTESY]

“Form counts for nothing in a derby. There are no underdogs here. So, expect a very tough match. This is like a final match for us, but we will not be under pressure. We are ready for any result as long as we don’t lose. We have already won the title, so it is not a must we win it against Leopards,” Shakava told The Standard Sports.

Kibwage, 20, who will be featuring in his fourth derby, will be driven by the desire to exact revenge on Gor.

“It’s not going to be an easy match, considering the fact that they (Gor) beat us in the first leg encounter. We are going to keep fighting like we have been doing in other matches hoping to get positive results,” said Kibwage.

Though Leopards will miss the services of leading scorer Ezekiel Odera, and the injured quartet of Robinson Kamura, Salim Abdalla, Moses Mburu and Marvin Nabwire, the Kenyan international has warmly welcomed back Wvyonne Isuza from suspension.

“Yeah, Odera is a good player but we have depth in our squad. So, their absence won’t really affect us. Isuza is back and that is a big boost for us. I think he will be of great impact tomorrow (today). He has had a fantastic season even scoring against them (Gor) in the first leg, we hope to see him replicate the same,” added Kibwage.