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It’s battle of slum rivals as Sharks host Mathare

Last updated 10 months ago | By Standard Sports

AFC Leopards' Robert Mudenyu (left) and Samwel Olwande of Kariobangi Sharks during KPL match at Kasarani stadium on Sunday, Sept 15, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Today’s Slum Derby between Mathare United and Kariobangi Sharks at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County will highlight the fourth week of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).

Mathare United coach Salim Ali says everything is finally working for his team after a bad start to the season.

SEE ALSO: They came, saw and conquered: Football stars who faded fast

“There is gradual improvement and finally we are starting to see the results of the work we do in training is registering in the minds of the players.

“We now need to continue with this momentum as the season is just starting and go step by step towards attaining our goals,” he told the club’s website.

SEE ALSO: Twahir Muhiddin predicts tough KPL battle

Mathare United picked their first win of the season last weekend after stopping Ulinzi Stars 2-1.

Despite playing with same line-up for the second week in a row, Ali said he has not settled on his first eleven three weeks into the new season.

SEE ALSO: FKF’s Sh1.2billion five-year deal divides clubs’ opinion

“Maintaining the same starting squad does not mean that I have found the squad that gels well.

“The team is beyond the 11 players who start the game but you start or make the bench because of what you have done in the last game as well as in training. So I urge all my players to strive to be better and not let complacency creep in.

“There will be little time to celebrate the first victory of the season as work now begins for our next fixture against Kariobangi Sharks.”

The fixture itself does not inspire much confidence in Mathare United given the poor record against their opponents.

The two teams have played six times since 2017 with Kariobangi Sharks winning three times and Mathare United just once. Two fixtures have ended in draws.

Furthermore, Kariobangi Sharks want to quickly get back to winning ways after a humiliating 3-0 loss to Kakamega Homeboyz last weekend.

Another exciting fixture at Machakos Stadium today will see former champions Tusker and Sofapaka battle it out from 2pm.

On the continental front, Bandari will aim to score an early goal when they clash with Tunisia’s US Ben Guerdane in tomorrow’s Caf Confederation Cup tie in Tunisia.

The Dockers left the country last Wednesday confident of s good show.

Bandari enjoy a 2-0 advantage after their win in the first leg at Kasarani a fortnight ago.

Morale is high in the team as they enjoy unbeaten run in KPL and last weekend’s 1-0 win over SoNy Sugar in Awendo was a morale-booster ahead of tomorrow’s match.

Bandari camped in Nairobi after the SoNy match and the team is ready for the task according to coach Bernard Mwalala.

“I have prepared the boys well and it is upon them to release the secret weapons in Tunisia,” Mwalala said. [Reports by Gilbert Wandera, Mohamed Awal and Ernest Ndunda]