- The game will be played at the Nyayo National Stadium
- AFC Leopards has not beaten Gor Mahia since 2016
- Both teams have won their last three matches
Arch rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will face off in the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday afternoon, each side keen to bag bragging rights from the signature fixture of the FKF Premier League.
Both teams are in good recent form, both winning their last three matches, though Gor are in better overall form as they sit fourth in the Premier League with 23 points.
AFC head coach Patrick Aussems however is not paying much attention to the weight of expectations in winning and playing the derby, thoigh it might just be a tact to take the pressure off his players.
“Even if we beat Gor Mahia it is just three points. We will prepare well but I hope it will be a bit special for the fans. Of course we expect a big game but we have to ensure that we don’t let the pressure get to us,” said the Belgian tactician.
Leopards have not beaten Gor Mahia since March 2016, with the Gor dominating in recent fixtures. However, the last five have been tight, with Gor winning twice, both 1-0 while three have ended in 0-0 draws.
Leopards hope to turn the tables
Despite the huge head to head disadvantage, Leopards hope to turn the tables.
“We know that it has not been easy for the fans for the last few derbies, but we are keen to turn the tables and get a good result. As players, we have prepared well and we have our focus sharp to get a win on Sunday,” said Cliff Nyakeya, one of Leopards’ star players.
Ingwe have 17 points from 11 matches and victory will propel them all the way to seventh or sixth, depending on the magnitude of their victory.
For Gor, they will be looking to move up to second with a win, but McKinstry knows it will be a tough duel despite recent dominance over their arch rivals.
“History doesn’t buy you anything. We have seen teams with great runs and then they have seen them stopped. We have to make sure we are at our best on the day. History does not score goals, history does not make saves and history does not play. It is these guys (players) who have to go in there and be at their best for us to be successful,” the coach said.
Wary of AFC’s good run
He added; “They (AFC) have had a good run and won their last three matches. Their last victory was a win over a very good Police side and they are definitely in a good mood for the derby. We expect a very tough game against AFC but all in all, we expect to give a good performance and result for our fans.”
Overall over the last 31 matches since 2009, Leopards have only won five times while Gor have won a massive 18 with eight ending up in draws.
With this record, Leopards are motivated, but Gor says they will be the side under pressure.
“There is always the pressure of maintaining the run. But history can be broken and we know this too well. We just hope we can give the fans a performance worth watching,” added the coach.