Match Day 7 of the 2020/21 BetKing Premier League is upon us and this weekend’s fixtures are important as they mark a return to action for all the 18 teams in the league. A full house. Ahead of that, we preview what to expect from all the action this weekend.
Ulinzi Stars vs. Vihiga United
Four-time league champions Ulinzi Stars have had a pretty torrid start in front of goal this season. Sitting ninth after 4 games and having scored only two goals this season, head coach Benjamin Nyangweso will be looking to prioritize their attack as they prepare to take on Vihiga United in familiar territory. Speaking after the Sharks game that ended in a 0-0 draw, Nyangweso lamented at his side’s poor finishing.
“Once again we failed to make use of our chances in attack and it is something that I will give a lot of attention to as we go back to training. I am hoping we address this as early as possible.”
Defensively, Ulinzi have no problem as they’ve kept three straight clean sheets in four games and are very difficult to beat.
Ulinzi will take on Vihiga United who sit 14th on four points after losing four out of the six games they’ve played in the top flight. If things are to improve, Vihiga United will be looking to sort out their leaky defense that has conceded in every game this season.
Posta Rangers vs. Nairobi City Stars
Posta Rangers who sit 12th on the log are one of two teams yet to record a win in the 2020/21 season, having drawn four times and losing one out of the five games they’ve played. Posta are a very well drilled side who sit back to absorb pressure and hit their opponents with an effective counter attack that catches out their opponents in most cases.
On the other hand, City Stars have had a mixed start to life back in the top flight: two wins, two draws, two losses. Simba wa Nairobi, as they are known, will be out to make up for the defeat they suffered against Wazito in Match Day 6.
On top of that, City Stars have not won any of the last three games they’ve played, drawing two and losing once.
The match will be played at Kasarani.
Sofapaka vs. Mathare United
Ken Odhiambo, Sofapaka’s head coach will be handling his second game in charge. Although he got a draw against Tusker on Match Day 6, he will be looking to rally his troops to take advantage of a Mathare United side that will be playing its first game of the season in unfamiliar territory, in Wundanyi Stadium. Odhiambo will be hoping to get a first win at the team to eliminate pressure from his shoulders.
Mathare United on the other hand will be out to show their mettle in their opening fixture. The Slum Boys will rely on a number of experienced players brought in during the transfer window to play a pivotal role, including David Cheche Ochieng, Danson Kago, Cersidy Okeyo and more. The only big question for Mathare heading to the game will be how they handle the first challenge, their fitness levels and the mental state the players are in.
KCB vs. Bidco United
Boasting the joint best defensive record and the second best scoring record, KCB continue to fly at the top of the log as they remain the only unbeaten team in the league. The team’s coach, Zedekiah Zico Otieno, has managed to find the right balance between attack and defense. Against Bidco, KCB will be looking to overcome the challenge of a side that will be buoyed by their first ever win in the top flight. Bidco have also only lost once in the six occasions they’ve played.
Bidco will certainly be confident coming to this game but will they be able to stop the league leaders who will be fully recharged coming into the game?
Zoo FC vs. Bandari
Like Mathare United, Zoo will also be playing their first game of the season.
Bandari on the other hand are in transition having appointed former AFC Leopards coach, Andrew Cassa Mbungo this week. They will also have to do without Shaban Kenga who suffered a broken leg against Western Stima. Bandari will hope that Mbungo’s familiarity to the league will have an immediate impact to their fortunes as they aim to take advantage in Kericho.
The tide will be in Zoo’s favor as they will be at home, but can they stop the coast based side?
AFC Leopards vs. Wazito FC
AFC Leopards’ Anthony Modo Kimani vs. Francis Kimanzi of Wazito FC is a case of a student taking on the master, Kimani having had the best of his years at Mathare United under Kimanzi. The two teams are only separated by one point although Ingwe have two games in hand. Kimanzi will be looking to continue building his philosophy into this Wazito side that has had mixed results this season.
Ingwe, on the other hand, will be raring to go as they’ve had time to go back to the drawing board and restrategize after suffering their first defeat, to Western Stima. Marksman Elvis Rupia will surely have one eye at reclaiming the top of the scoring charts when they return to action this Saturday in Kasarani and facing his former team will give him further incentive.
Kakamega Homeboyz vs. Tusker
Abana Beingo, as Kakamega Homeboyz are known, who sit 10th on the table, are far from the form that saw them finish in second place last season. When they welcome Tusker FC at Bukhungu Stadium, Nicholas Muyoti’s charges will be aiming to sort out their attacking department led by Allan Wanga. Homeboyz are among the lowest scoring teams having netted only two goals in the five matches they’ve played. They have failed to score in their last three games, which they’ll need to improve on if they’re to be anywhere close to the form they had last season.
Tusker, who missed the chance to go second last week will be out to put things right when they face Homeboyz. They are the joint top scoring team in the league with 10 goals.
Nzoia Sugar vs. Western Stima
The teams placed 13th and 15th on the table meet in a contest of teams that have struggled to get desired results.
Nzoia Sugar will be hoping the appointment of Ibrahim Shikanda as the new head coach will give them the impetus they need to fight for a first win this season against a Western Stima side that has lost four out the six games it has played and conceded the most goals in the league – 12. Western will be praying for a quick turnaround in form.
The match will be played at Sudi Stadium in Bungoma.
Kariobangi Sharks vs. Gor Mahia.
Sitting second on the table with 12 points, being the joint top scoring team in the league with 10 goals and boasting the league’s top scorer Eric Kapaito, Sharks will be looking to continue with their good start this season when they take on Gor Mahia at Kasarani.
Gor on the other hand, who are playing catch-up after their disappointing continental assignment, will be out to continue their exemplary form in this fixture. In the last seven meetings, they’ve won six and lost once. This will be another interesting game to watch.