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Football focus shifts to Cup contests as league takes a break

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Ulinzi Stars and Kenya Police met for the first time in the league
  • The FKF Cup will get to the round of 16 this weekend
  • Kenya Police vs Ulinzi Stars will be the highlight fixture
  • Defending chamopions Gor are away to Kakamega Homeboyz

Focus in Kenyan football will this weekend turn to the FKF Cup action which rolls into the round of 16 with various matches lined up across several venues in the country.

The highlight fixture will be between Premier League giants Kenya Police FC and Ulinzi Stars which will be played at the newly opened Police Saccop Stadium in South C.

Fixtures between these two sides, the law keepers and the army side, have always been tough and closely contested, raising lots of attention and fans in the stadium.

The last three meetings have all ended in draws, but Saturda afternoon’s duel promises to be eye catching as a winner has to be found.

Confident of victory 

Police head coach Francis Batraza is confident that the team can get good results against Ulinzi, though he is cautious it will be a tough duel.

“I have played so many derbies before in my career both as a player and as a coach and I know the kind of pressure it brings and the expectations. I have talked to my players and we have planned well for this game,” said Baraza.

Police have been in good form in the league while Ulinzi have been flailing, but Cup games are no respecters of form.

“They come into this game from Nzoia where they lost and I know they will come looking to redeem their image. We expect a very tough game and we will go all out to ensure we win,” said Baraza.

He has been boosted with the return of some of the players who were away on international duty, but he will be without midfielder Patillah Omotto who is nursing an injury.

Ulinzi upbeat of battling for a title 

Meanwhile, Ulinzi Stars skipper James Saruni says they will also unleash all their artillery to try capture a win and progress to the next round.

“It will be a tough match but as soldiers we are always prepared. We have trained well and the focus is sharp awaiting the game. We are determined to win a trophy this year and this is a chance to do so and we will give our best,” noted the goalkeeper.

Meanwhile in the early kick off on South C two-time champions Sofapaka will take on National Super League side Darajani Gogo.

In the other match on Saturday, 2016 champions Tusker FC face off with Division One side Rainbow FC at the Kasarani Annex.

Despite facing a team playing two divisions lower, the brewers are not taking anything to chance.

“In football there is no big team and small team. We have to take every game seriously. Cup games are always tricky and even in top leagues, we have seen the so called small teams shock the big teams. We can’t take anything to chance,” said Tusker’s coach Robert Matano.

He added; “We are determined to win this trophy even as we fight for the league. It is important for us as a big team.”

Sharks face Equity on Sunday 

Meanwhile on Sunday, Kariobangi Sharks play Third Tier side Equity in the early kick off at Nyayo before KCB Play Bidco United in an all-Premier League clash in the late kick off.

At the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, AFC Leopards face off with second tier side Murang’a Seal while in Mombasa, Bandari face Mwatate United in a Coastal derby.

In Kakamega, defending champions Gor Mahia play Kakamega Homeboyz.

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