Last updated 8 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi
Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso is looking forward to a 'difficult' match when his side collides with Kenyan Premier League leaders and record champions Gor Mahia in Kisumu today (3 pm).
The two teams, who are coming off quite contrasting results, are separated by seven points as the league enters round 12 this weekend.
While Gor Mahia strolled to a 2-0 victory over Bandari last weekend to end their two seasons' winless run in Mombasa and take their points tally to 24, the soldiers had to dig deep to get a 1-1 draw against visiting Nzoia Sugar.
But both teams are currently enjoying a fine run of form. Gor are on a three-game unbeaten run, while Ulinzi has gone eight matches without losing (four wins and four draws).
Ironically, both Gor Mahia and Ulinzi suffered their latest losses in the league against Mathare United (1-0 and 2-1).
Gor and Ulinzi may be separated by their history in terms of title achievements and fan base, but the rivalry between the two sides has become fierce if recent meetings is anything to go by.
Though K'Ogalo has a better record, it has not been always an easy ride for them against the soldiers.
In their last four matches, Gor Mahia has won twice (1-2 and 0-2), while Ulinzi has chalked up one victory (0-2) with the other tie ending in a stalemate (1-1).
And as the two sides meet again today at the Moi Stadium, Kisumu, Nyangweso is well-prepared for a tough battle.
"This is another tough match for us, but we will plan on how to handle them (Gor Mahia)," said Nyangweso.
"Gor Mahia are well above us on the table standings, but that doesn't mean it will be an easy game for them. We will try to give our best and hopefully get the maximum points. If you plan and prepare well, Gor are beatable. I believe if we play like we did in the second half against Nzoa Sugar, we can get some positive results."
As Gor will be battling with Ulinzi, AFC Leopards will be hunting for another win in Mumias against Nzoia Sugar.
Tomorrow will see third-placed Tusker (18 points) welcome wounded Bandari in an equally highly-anticipated fixture at Ruaraka Grounds.
Tusker marksman and current leading top scorer Timothy Otieno (seven goals) is bracing up for the Dockers' challenge as he aims to increase his goals tally.
"It is a very unpredictable game, but we are well prepared and determined to narrow the gap at the top of the table. As a striker, my job is to score goals and that's exactly what I've been doing. It's still too early to talk about the golden boot, my target is to help the team get as many wins as possible," Otieno said.