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Tusker keen to bridge gap with number 1 Gor

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Tusker
Tusker FC players celebrate one of their goals against Shabana
  • Tusker beat KCB 5-0 in the first leg
  • They can move to third with a win
  • AFC Leopards play away to Kakamega Hombeboyz in the other match

Tusker FC are keen to bridge the gap between themselves and FKF Premier League leaders Gor Mahia when they take on KCB at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday evening.

Gor’s victory against City Stars on Saturday saw them open a 13 point gap between them and the brewers, and still having title ambitions, Robert Matano’s men are keen to pick victory.

Wingback Levin Odhiambo says they expect to come up against a tougher KCB side. Tusker won the first leg 5-0 at the Police Sacco Stadium last month, but Levin says the mentality has to be better going into the second leg.

“KCB has had some good signings in mid-season and I believe when they come for this second leg they will be different team and tougher than the first leg. We have to be ready and not have the same mentality that it will be the same like the first leg,” Odhiambo says.

The team comes into Sunday’s game off the backdrop of a 4-0 win on the road against Shabana and Odhiambo believes it has lifted the motivation in the team.

“We want to continue from where we left. We have had a good week in training and everyone is looking ready. Going into the Shabana game, everyone wanted to win because of what happened in the first leg and I believe the motivation from that victory will push us more into Sunday’s game,” added the Tusker wingback.

Tusker in crucial need for three points 

Tusker

Tusker FC players during a training session at Ruaraka

Meanwhile, Odhiambo says it will be crucial for the team to pick up three points to ensure they keep tabs with the leaders. He notes that the mentality in the team at the moment is taking each match like a final and giving the utmost best.

A win for Tusker hoists them all the way up to third in the log where they will share points with Police FC, Bandari FC and City Stars, but will be higher based on their brilliant goal difference.

KCB come into the match on the backdrop of a horrid run. The bankers are 10th in the standings with 29 points and have not won since December 16 when they beat Police FC 2-1. They have played six matches, losing four and drawing two.

They have lost their last two matches with identical 2-1 scorelines, and pressure will be on coach Bernard Mwalala when they come up against the brewers again. The pain of the 5-0 first leg defeat still remains fresh in their memories.

Overall in 25 meetings, Tusker has lost to KCB only once before, a 1-0 victory in May 2015. Tusker has won 14 of those encounters and drawn 10. It is a statistic they want to keep especially with three points counting for so much on Sunday.

Leopards play away to Homeboyz in Bukhungu

AFC leopards

AFC Leopards head coach Tomas Trucha. PHOTO/Capital Sports

Meanwhile in other fixtures penned for Sunday, resurgent AFC Leopards will be home away from home, when they take on Kakamega Homeboyz at the Bukhungu Stadium. Playing in an area where they enjoy massive support, Leopards who have won five matches in a row are upbeat of getting a result.

The two sides are side by side on the table, Homeboyz seventh with 32 points and Leopards eighth with 30. A win for Ingwe will mean the two teams swap places on the log while victory for Homeboyz sends them to sixth, if Tusker fail to win against KCB.

Leopards tactician Tomas Trucha hopes his side can continue in their new found form.

“We have been playing really well and the boys have been giving their best. We need to take each match at a time and now the squad is more united, more together and understand each other better,” the tactician offered.

Ingwe will be boosted by the availability of new signing, defender Ken Owino, who had been temporarily sidelined with injury. Owino’s return will be a boost for the side.

Homeboyz put off a five-match winless streak last weekend, with a 2-1 win on the road against KCB and will hope to continue same way, to re-ignite their top three ambitions.

Kakamega Homeboyz Celebration scaled

Homeboyz celebrate their win over Sharks in a past match at Kasarani

In the relegation battle, Muhoroni Yoyth FC will play away to Sofapaka in a bottom of the table clash. Sofgapaka have done themselves a favour by winning three of their last five games with only one defeat, but are four points away from safety.

Muhoroni occupy the play-off spot with 20 points and will be keen to clinch victory that will take them to 15th, if Kariobangi Sharks fail to beat Talanta. Sofapaka re seeking victory to more or less pull themselves clearer off the drop zone.

A win sends them to 12th spot.

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