Last updated 11 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi
Everton FC legends Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman have urged Kariobangi Sharks to deploy an attacking approach when they clash with English Premier League side in Sunday’s eagerly awaited international friendly match at Kasarani Stadium.
Sunday’s fixture will mark Toffees’ second visit to East Africa after they beat record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia 2-1 in the inaugural SportPesa Trophy final in Dar es Salaam two years ago.
The chartered flight carrying Marco Silva’s side, who retained the trophy last year by thrashing K’Ogalo 4-0 in a historic Goodison Park encounter, is expected to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 8 am tomorrow.
This will be the first pre-season friendly match for the Toffees, who resumed training on Monday.
According to the club, England international and former Arsenal winger, Theo Walcott, recent Portugal signing Andre Gomes, Mason Holgate and goalkeeper Jonas Loessl were among the Everton aces who reported for the first day of training at the club’s USM Finch Farm complex in Liverpool.
But with the former domestic cup winners having edged out Bandari 1-0 in January in Dar es Salaam to book a ticket with Everton, Osman believes Sharks can capitalise on the English side’s off-season rustiness.
Though stakes are high, the former English international went on to challenge William Muluya’s men not to work so hard to impress but to enjoy themselves.
“Everton resumed training this week and their fitness level is improving. Sharks have been preparing and seems they have built stamina for the tie,” said Osman during yesterday’s press conference.
The hosts could have an upper hand in the game and so I would advise them to attack. I believe the match will strengthen our relationship with Sharks as well as Kenya in general.”
Osman’s sentiments were echoed by his South African counterpart Pienaar told, who called on the Kenyan side to treat their fans with an exciting performance.
“We know Sharks have prepared well. Let them be composed and have fun as we look forward to an interesting match on the day,” said Pienaar.
Meanwhile, organisers of the highly anticipated fixture have revealed that regular tickets for the match are almost sold out.
A total number of 60,000 tickets have been printed.