Zico prepared for tough match against his former side Gor
FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | March 6th 2021
KCB coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno knows he has a tough FKF-Premier League match on his hands when the bankers clash with Kenyan record champions Gor Mahia at Kasarani Stadium tomorrow.
The second placed-bankers (26 points) have not won their last three matches since beating Vihiga United 1-0 on February 6, but for them to close the gap on league leaders Tusker, they must get a positive result on Sunday.
And just like KCB, K’Ogalo have been blowing hot and cold with Tuesday’s 2-1 away victory to Kakamega Homeboyz taking them up to the eighth spot with 19 points.
But having previously played for Gor Mahia before handling them both as a coach and assistant coach, Otieno is aware of the threat posed by Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto’s men.
“We know Gor Mahia is a strong team. Although they have been struggling, that will be different on Sunday because I know they will be coming to try and get maximum points. Likewise, we are also targeting the three points. So, it is not going to be an easy outing for both of us,” said Otieno.
However, the former Kenyan international has been boosted by the availability of the experienced duo of defender Dennis Odhiambo and midfielder Michael Mutinda.
Odhiambo and Mutinda both missed their last three matches (Nzoia Sugar, Sofapaka and Kariobangi Sharks) due to injury and suspension respectively.
“We are well prepared and ready for the match. The encouraging thing is that we will be welcoming back Mutinda (Michael) from suspension and Odhiambo (Dennis) from injury. We can now have a very strong side to choose from and I know however will be given an opportunity to play against Gor Mahia will deliver,” said Otieno.
“Their return is a plus to the team and that’s why I’m very happy as a coach. This is the first time after four matches that we will again be able to field the same team which won for us six matches in a trot. So, as a coach, my expectations are very high on them because they have been giving us good results.”
But while the bankers will be seeking to bounce back to the winning ways, joint third-placed Bandari and AFC Leopards (25 points) will be out to keep the pressure on Tusker when they host Nzoia Sugar and Nairobi City Stars respectively today.
Another highlight of the weekend will be today’s fixture between former champions Sofapaka and in-form Bidco United in Wundanyi.
And as the race for the title continues to shape up, the relegation battle is intensifying with bottom side Zoo welcoming 15th placed Vihiga United in Kericho today.
Tomorrow will see struggling Mathare United also tackle inconsistent Kakamega Homeboyz at Kasarani Annex.
This is a match that Salim Ali and his boys can’t afford to lose after a series of poor results.
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