Tusker seek to maintain perfect start as FKF PL returns to action

Referee Hosea Omondi bow in pain after allegedly being knocked by a player during KPL Match between AFC Leopards and Tusker FC at The Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Sunday, Dec 4, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Defending champions Tusker will be hoping to begin the year with a win when they host bottom-placed Vihiga Bullets in today’s FKF Premier League match at Ruaraka Grounds.

The top tier league resumes after a two-week Christmas break with nine matches lined up across the country. Tusker are currently leading the standings with 15 points.

The brewers have won all their matches against Kakamega Homeboyz (2-1), Nairobi City Stars (4-1), AFC Leopards (1-0), Bidco United (1-0) and KCB (2-1).

Speaking ahead of the match, Tusker coach Robert Matano said they are keen to maintain their 100 percent record of the season against Vihiga Bullets who will be playing their second match of the season.

“We are back and focused. Many are saying it will be an easy match against Bullets but for me we have to get our tactics right in the game because there is no small team or big team,” said Matano.

Tusker are unbeaten in their two meetings against Bullets (one win and a draw) and Matano is keen to not only to maintain their unbeaten streak against them but also in the league.

“We started the season very well despite the long delays and setbacks of having to relinquish our title. The goal remains the same, to win the title again and I am glad our strategies are working now. I believe we can only get better week in week out,” said Matano.

At Nyayo stadium, record champions Gor Mahia will be battling for the top four spot with KCB who have been blowing hot and cold this season.

While Gor are undefeated in their opening four matches, KCB have lost three and won three of their opening six matches. Ironically, the bankers have won all their away matches but lost all their home matches.

That might sure trouble Gor but statistics of their last 10 meetings will pour cold water to KCB’s away form as K’Ogalo have won five, drew three and lost only twice against the bankers.

In Kasarani, AFC Leopards will be seeking to put behind their mixed start to the season when they face struggling Nairobi City Stars who have been a hard nut to crack for Ingwe in recent years.

Since 2016, Leopards have only beaten City Stars twice, but Patrick Aussems will hope the poor form Simba wa Nairobi is currently battling will favour them.

In Thika, surprise package Nzoia Sugar who are second on the log with 13 points, will be aiming to continue with their fine run when they take on hosts Bidco United.

Nzoia have won four of their opening six matches and drawn once.

Meanwhile, Kenyan football has joined the rest of the world in paying tribute to the departed legend Pele.

According to Football Kenya Federation (FKF), there will be a moment of silence in honour of the Brazilian icon before kick off at all FKF Premier League, FKF Women Premier League, FKF National Super League, and FKF Men and Women Division One League matches for the next two weeks.

FKF also announced they will pay tribute to former Harambee Stars and Tusker defender Mark Odhiambo who passed away on December 27 2022.

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