Gor face Tusker as they return to league action

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, February 27th 2019 at 09:07 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia Midfielder Francis Kahata (R) and Abderaouf Chouiter of Nasr Athletic Hussein Dey from Algeria battle for ball possession during their CAF Confederation Cup group D match at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday 24/02/19. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Striker Dennis Oliech returned to training on Tuesday and will be available for selection when Gor Mahia tackle Tusker in today’s SportPesa Premier League (SPL) tie at Kasarani.

The former Harambee Stars captain had gone on strike over the weekend protesting a delay in payment of his sign on fee.

Oliech is claiming Sh1.6m from the club which he says has been overdue for the last three months.

His return has boosted Gor Mahia’s chances as they seek to go close the gap on leaders Bandari as they will move to second place with a win.

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay had reached out to the player after missing him during Sunday’s Confederations Cup match against Algerian side Hussein Dey. Gor Mahia won the match 2-0.

“Oliech is an important player and we missed him on Sunday. It is great to have him back and he is very important for us as we face Tusker,” he said.

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It is a tricky fixture for the SPL champions who have to balance between trying to win the league and taking part in the Confederations Cup.

Despite a good run at home on the CAF assignments, Gor Mahia were held to a 1-1 draw by Western Stima last week in a SPL tie.

This means that Oktay has to tinker with his line up as he will have to rest his key players ahead of the more lucrative Confederations Cup.

This means that he has to opt for bench players in trying to defend the league title as he keeps his main team for continental duty as they will be in Algeria on Saturday for the return match against Hussein Dey.

The champions, however, have depth in it’s playing unit and anyone who gets a chance to play always gives their best.

On his part, Tusker coach Robert Matano has said he expects a tough match against Gor Mahia.

“They are the defending champions and we respect that so it going to be tough,” he said.

Matano said his team is also determined to pick all three points and believes winning against Gor Mahia will be a big motivation to the brewers.

“We know Gor Mahia want to win but we will not make it easy for them.”

The brewers lost their last match after going down 1-0 to visiting Kakamega Homeboyz. That result dented Tusker’s title ambitions and will be keen to get back to winning ways.