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Tusker seek revenge over Leopards and retain FKF title hopes

  • AFC Leopards beat Tusker 1-0 in the first leg
  • The brewers are looking to bridge the gap with leaders Homeboyz
  • Homeboyz face Kenya Police FC in the other game

FKF Premier League holders Tusker FC will look to assert revenge on AFC Leopards when the two sides clash at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Leopards beat the brewers 1-0 in the first leg at the Thika Stadium on match day one, and the brewers are looking to bounce off with a win and put their title retention hopes alive.

Tusker are eight points behind leaders Kakamega Homeboyz and a win on Sunday will be crucial, especially if Homeboyz drop more points against Kenya Police when they face off at the adjacent Kasarani Annex.

This will be the second leg meeting between Tusker FC and AFC Leopards, with the latter having won 1-0 when the two sides met in the first leg at the Thika Stadium.

Over the last 28 meetings, Tusker has had an upper hand in terms of head to head record, winning 16 of those games while six have ended in defeat and an equal number of draws. Over the last seven meetings, Tusker has won four games, lost two and drawn one against Ingwe.

Tusker FC midfielder Rodgers Ouma heads the ball under pressure from AFC Leopards defender Isaac Kipyegon

The biggest win for Tusker in this fixture was a 4-0 victory in 2018, the third time in 28 matches that the brewers were scoring four goals against the Leopards.

On the table this season, Tusker is second with 46 points, while Leopards are 11 points off the pace at 10th.

Both sides come into the tie in contrasting unbeaten runs. Second placed Tusker have not tasted defeat since losing 1-0 to Nairobi City Stars on January 16. They have gone on to accumulate eight victories and six draws for a run of 14 unbeaten matches.

Leopards on the other hand have not lost since January 15 when they were beaten 3-1 by Kariobangi Sharks. They have won five and drawn six of their subsequent 11 matches.

Tusker have been boosted with the return of goalkeeper Patrick Matasi who picked up an injury in last weekend’s 2-0 victory against Gor Mahia and is looking likely to be back between the sticks. He will be facing his former employers.

Left back Issac Kipyegon will also be facing AFC Leopards for the first time since he left for Tusker. When the two sides played in the first leg, Kipyegon skippered Leopards to their 1-0 win and was an integral part of their central defense.

AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems watches as Washington Munene battles wit Kakamega Homeboyz’s Moses Mudavadi

Meanwhile, Leopards coach Patrick Aussems says he expects a tough encounter against Tusker, but not as hard as last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Wazito FC.

“It is very difficult when you have to play against a team fighting relegation. Against Tusker, it is going to be a lot easier but still a tough match. We have had a good run with more than 10 matches without losing and I hope that we can continue in the same way,” Aussems said.

Meanwhile in other matches to be played today, Homeboyz will look to regain their advantage on top of the standings after dropping points at home against Sofapaka last weekend.

They face a flailing Police FC side that has been struggling to show consistent results. They have drawn two and lost two of their last four matches, and last weekend suffered a 2-1 defeat to FC Talanta at Ruaraka.

Homeboyz won 1-0 when they met in the first leg at the Bukhungu Stadium. A win for Homeboyz will open up an 11-point gap with second placed Tusker, if the brewers fail to win against Leopards.

Meanwhile, Nzoia Sugar will face Ulinzi Stars while relegation threatened Vihiga Bullets will be away in Thika against Bidco United.

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