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Football

Gor Mahia, Tusker ready for weekend continental duties

The Tusker FC bench consulting at half time during a past match

With the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League on a break due to the current impasse, all eyes will be on Gor Mahia and Tusker FC who will be on continental assignments this weekend.

Gor Mahia will be away in Brazzaville to AS Otoho d’Oyo while Tusker FC will host Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in Nairobi at the Nyayo National Stadium. Both matches will be played on Sunday.

Gor are expected to travel out to Brazzaville on Friday.

The team has intensified training this week having been in Kisumu for two friendly matches to aid them in preparing for the vital assignment.

“I think we have done well in terms of training and preparing over the last two weeks since the league went on break. We played some friendly matches in Kisumu over the weekend and that really helped us. We gelled together as a team and also we have seen where we need to improve,” Shakava said.

He added; “I believe we are ready for the task. It is a slight advantage that we are starting away from home and we should ensure we get a favourable result in the first leg. We should ensure we avoid defeat and possibly try to get a goal.”

Gor Mahia celebrate their goal against AFC Leopards

While Gor are looking to earn victory and progress to the group stages, they will be hampered in terms of numbers as they only have 16 players registered for the Confederation Cup.

The team could not enrol most of their new players at the start of the season due to a FIFA ban on acquiring new players.

Coach Mark Harrison has admitted that the handicap on numbers will be a huge disadvantage for them but adds they are ready to fight and earn respect from the game.

“It is a huge challenge definitely when you don’t have many options but there is nothing much we can do. I know it is a tough challenge for us but definitely, it is a match that is winnable. I have seen some of their videos and analysed them and I am quite certain that if we do our best we can win,” said the English tactician.

Meanwhile, Tusker will be at home against a tough opponent, facing North African giants CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.

The brewers have had a difficult start to the season and have lost three of their opening five games of the season. They were eliminated from the Champions League following a 5-0 aggregate loss at the hands of Egyptian giants Zamalek SC.

Against another North African opponent, Tusker could potentially lift the pressure off their shoulders if they can vie for victory in the first leg at home.

Tusker FC players celebrate a goal during a past match

“We know the task ahead of us and we have been training hard to ensure we are ready for the game. Everyone is psyched because we know we can achieve history if we manage to win this game,” said captain Eugene Asike.

Tusker have been handed a boost with defenders Charles Momanyi and Kalos Kirenge regaining fitness and joining full training this week. Also back in full flight is midfielder Clyde Senaji.

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