- Tusker saw their year long unbeaten run ended by Bandari
- Nzoia are placed second in the standings
- The last meeting between the two sides ended in a 2-2 draw
Tusker FC will be looking to make a response on Saturday afternoon when they host Nzoia Sugar in a top of the table FKF Premier League clash at the Ruaraka Complex.
The brewers saw their enviable year-long unbeaten run ended in Mombasa last weekend when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Bandari FC, and they will be out to solidify their title ambitions against a tough and unpredictable Nzoia side.
Head coach Robert Matano has warned his side to expect a tough and hugely contested match, but remains confident that they have learnt from last weekend’s loss and are ready to bounce back.
“We learnt from Bandari. We gave them too much respect and allowed them to play especially in the first half. We have worked on that and especially our compact defending. I believe we will be a better team. We have trained well and prepared well,” the tactician noted.
Against Nzoia, he expects a full blown tactical battle against Salim Babu’s men.
Very good side
“They are a very good side with good and fast players. Their position on the table shows what kind of team they are. We don’t expect it easy,” he added.
The last time these two sides played in Nairobi, they played to a 2-2 draw, with Tusker coming from behind to snatch the point.
Nzoia have had a brilliant start to the campaign and in eight matches, the have won five, drawn two and lost one.
Against Tusker, they are keen for a sixth win of the season.
They come up against a Tusker side which has been forced to change one squad member less than 24 hours to the match, after defender Isaac Kipyegon was suspended.
The centre back has been suspended by the Football Kenya Federation over accusations of match fixing, steming from his time with Zoo Kericho.
Kipyegon had been drafted into the team of 20 for the matchday squad, but was dropped on Friday night when the communication was sent.
He has started all their seven Premier League matches, partnering Charles Momanyi in central defense. He will now be out for the foreseeable future while Momanyi might not be fit to start as he has a slight hamstring strain.
Apollo, Senaji leave Tusker
At the same time, the brewers have lost midfielders Clyde Senaji and Apollo Otieno.
Otieno has left after the expiry of his contract while Senaji has left on mutual consent with eight months left on his contract.
“We had a discussion with Senaji and we agreed to end the contract mutually. He requested for it because of personal reasons. For Apollo, his contract had ended and we did not renew. We wish both of them the best in their future endeavors,” said Tusker’s management, in a communication.
Otieno’s contract ended in December and his last match was the 2-1 win over KCB, while Senaji’s last match was the 1-0 win over Bidco United in early December where he scored the winning goal.
The departure of the two will be a huge blow to the Brewers especially in midfield where they are short of experience.
Otieno is already being courted at Keny Police by his former coach at Chemelil Sugar Francis Baraza.