Five Key Talking Points Of SportPesa Premier League Round 11

Feb 01 - by Louis Kalinga for SportPesa News

Champions Gor Mahia FC will be out of action this weekend as they prepare for their titanic CAF Confederations Cup clash against Egyptian giants Zamalek FC at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday

Bandari FC line-up against Simba SC in the semi finals of the 2019 SportPesa Cup in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on Friday, January 25, 2018 at the National Main Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. PHOTO/SPN

  • Champions Gor Mahia FC will be out of action this weekend as they face Cairo giants Zamalek FC in their titanic CAF Confederations Cup opening Group D clash at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday having risen to fourth with a game in hand on the leaders but already eight adrift
  • Mt. Kenya, formerly Nakumatt FC, remain winless this season and prop the standings a whopping 21 points behind the Slum Boys from the three ocassions they have avoided defeat
  • Third-place Tusker have 17 and if their current form is anything to go by, it seems as though Robert Matano’s players have what it takes to make light work of their lacklustre opponents

NAIROBI, Kenya- Francis Kimanzi’s Mathare United FC remain unbeaten and sit pretty at the top of the SportPesa Premier League with 24 points, six clear of second-place Bandari FC as the domestic top flight competition spills into its 11th round.

Champions Gor Mahia FC will be out of action this weekend as they face Cairo giants Zamalek FC in their titanic CAF Confederations Cup opening Group D clash at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday having risen to fourth with a game in hand on the leaders but already eight adrift.

The champions enjoyed a welcome 2-0 victory over bitter Nyanza rivals, Sony Sugar FC on Wednesday but know their work is cut out to reel in the 2018 title winners who are emerging as the most serious to the SPL crown they have held for the last two seasons.

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It has not been the dream start for the record 17-time league winners having lost thrice in nine matches, two less than the number of defeats they suffered the whole of last term under Briton Dylan Kerr.

Other highlights of the weekend action will be the face-off at Mbaraki Stadium where SportPesa Cup beaten finalists, Bandari FC will entertain AFC Leopards SC with both teams out to bounce back from midweek defeats at Kakamega Homeboyz FC and Zoo Kericho FC in that order.

Homeboyz will be involved in a 'Western Derby' against Vihiga United FC in a clash where local pride is at stake.

SportPesa News runs down the five talking points of the SPL round 11

Can Mathare Remain Unbeaten In Their David vs Goliath Encounter?

The league leaders welcomet bottom side Mount Kenya United FC in the first match of the weekend on Saturday at the Afraha Stadium from 2pm (+3GMT) hoping to pile more pressure on the chasing pack by extending their lead.

Mt. Kenya, formerly Nakumatt FC, remain winless this season and prop the standings a whopping 21 points behind the Slum Boys from the three ocassions they have avoided defeat.

Kimanzi’s charges have had an exceptional start to the campaign as they seek their first league title in 11 years, having last tasted glory in the 2008 Kenyan Premier League season under the guidance of the former Harambee Stars head coach.

Mathare avoided dropping all three points midweek when they sweat out a barren draw against freshly-minted SportPesa Cup champions Kariobangi Sharks FC in the 'Slum Derby' to sustain their title momentum.

MUST READ: Homeboyz Thrash SportPesa Cup Finalists Bandari, Leopards Fall

Though on paper it looks as though it will be an easy win for Mathare, they will need to maintain their focus if they are to make it 11 games unbeaten having witnessed an upset in the last round as newcomers and struggling Kenya Commercial Bank FC mugged champions Gor 1-0 in Machakos.

More Trouble Brewing For Uninspired Rangers?

Posta Rangers FC are currently going through the worst run by any club in the SPL, coming off five straight defeats that has left them in 17th on six points.

Daniel Otieno of Sony Sugar FC was the last man to inflict more misery on the mailmen in a 1-0 away loss and it does not get any easier this weekend as they prepare to host high-flying 11-time league winners Tusker FC.

Third-place Tusker have 17 and if their current form is anything to go by, it seems as though Robert Matano’s players have what it takes to make light work of their lacklustre opponents.

The brewers are coming off a remarkable 2-1 comeback victory over Chemelil Sugar FC courtesy of a late Boniface Muchiri goal.

MUST READ: Nyakeya Tops Scoring Chart, Mathare Consolidate SPL Lead

The two sides will battle it out on Saturday at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos at 3pm.

KCB, Zoo Eager To Make It Two Straight Wins

On the SPL table, the only thing separating these two teams is placing due to alphabetical order. KCB sit 13th with Zoo a place lower having both registered two wins, two draws and lost four.

If that is not enough, both sides have scored and conceded the exact same number of goals throughout the campaign.

The bankers and Zoo will be buoyed by two important wins having registered 1-0 victories over two of the most successful Kenyan clubs Gor and AFC Leopards SC in their last outings.

The two sides will take to the Kericho Green Stadium on Sunday at 3pm in a contest that has the billing to be a cracker, with both teams itching to turn things around and maintain their winning run.

All- Western Affair In Bukhungu

Kakamega Homeboyz FC (12), who are in 10th responded in sublime fashion following the sacking of coach Paul Nkata last week.

MUST READ: Tusker Edge Stubborn Chemelil To Claim SPL Third Spot

Seasoned forward Allan Wanga took temporary charge of the side and named himself in the squad to face Bandari in midweek and scored a brace to inspire his side to a 4-0 rout, ending the dockers unbeaten start to the season.

Their opponents Vihiga United FC have amassed nine this season and are only three points above the relegation zone, without a win in their last five.

Vihiga have only tasted victory once this season and will need to turn up the heat against their Western rivals if they are to avoid sinking into the drop zone after the weekend.

All eyes will be on Wanga as he seeks to lift his side to a second consecutive win for the first time this season.

Mwalala Seeking To Bounce Back Against Wounded Leopards

Bernard Mwalala is slowly becoming a household name among local coaches and despite the 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Homeboyz in midweek, Bandari remain a force to reckon.

Mwalala led them to their highest ever finish in the domestic flight last season (second) and is fresh off leading the dockers to a second-place finish in the SportPesa Cup, losing 1-0 to compatriots Sharks in the final.

Leopards (10) have played a game less than their opponents and are languishing in 12th, eight points behind the Dockers who remained second despite the hammering in Bukhungu.

A win for the coast side at the Mbaraki Sports Complex fortress would see them have a higher chance of reducing the point difference between them and league leaders Mathare, as they too have a game in hand having missed out on last weeks action.

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