Mathare United will for the first time this season play a BetKing Premier League (BPL) home game outside of Nairobi as they are scheduled to host Bidco United on Thursday at the Thika Sub-county Stadium.
The unavailability of a match venue in Nairobi for matchday 26 has forced clubs based in the Capital to look elsewhere with Thika the nearest solution.
If playing a home game at a ground less familiar to them isn’t a hindrance enough for survival chasing Mathare, then playing a home game at the very same venue that your opponents call “home” is raising the stakes a little bit too higher.
League debutants Bidco are based in Thika and have used the ground as their home base for almost as long as they have existed. Tomorrow, the only thing that will be a change for them is the “Away” side dressing room.
Bidco encountered the same situation for much of the season’s first-leg fixtures as they were forced to play their home matches in Nairobi as the Thika ground was being refrubished.
They maneuvered through it though and got some vital wins along the way, most significantly a 2-1 win over Mathare at the Kasarani Stadium in February.
Mathare head into the game looking to secure only their fourth win of the season and one that could lift them to just one point adrift of safety.
Frank Ouna’s charges sit bottom of the BPL standings with 14 points and with nine matches still left to play, every game here on out – no matter the venue – is a Cup final for them. They head into the game off the back of relative success, having won two of their last four matches.
Bidco on their part are breathing more easily at 12th place with 28 points. Though mathematically not there yet, they look to have secured their place in the topflight for next season.
They have however stuttered recently where they have managed just one win from their last five fixtures. They defeated Mathare 2-1 in the first-leg tie played at the Kasarani Stadium in February and will look for nothing less than all three points on Thursday. A win for Anthony Akhulia’s men can have them move up two places to 10th on the log.