Nzoia Sugar FC have lost their last four matches, something Ibrahim Shikanda won’t take lightly when they face Bidco United on Thursday 8th at the ASK Nakuru Showground, their newly adopted home venue since matches cannot be held at their favoured Sudi Stadium in Bungoma.
It all started with a 2-1 fall to relegation-threatened Vihiga United, then Nairobi City Stars grabbed the full share of spoils against the sugar millers- another home tie. A visit from Kenya Commercial Bank on June 30th- the deadline for Caf Champions League ticket rendered the side winless in 8 matches, their lat victory a distant 2-1 over the league’s defending champions Gor Mahia in Mumias.
Bidco travels to Nakuru on the back of a nail-biting 1-1 draw with Kakamega Homeboyz at the Thika Sub-county stadium. With Homeboyz hammering Ulinzi Stars 3-1 a few days later, it is fair to say Bidco bring a formidable side to Nakuru and Nzoia might want to take caution.
Dennis Wanjala returned to Shikanda’s side after a suspension and delivered the set-play that birthed the first goal against KCB last time out. His devastating left foot on set-plays, stands as a determinant in the opening few minutes of Thursday’s games. Hillary Simiyu was on a fantastic form before the dry spell started and has since been relegated to the bench. Ahead of him, Elisha Wekesa and Phillip Muchuma have been favoured.
He, however, stands a potential threat to Bidco if started.
United on the other, hand bring to the fore a side that stood up against Homeboyz in Thika and managed a draw. Though falling in the early stages of the tie to a David Okoth strike, captain Peter Nzuki rallied his charges to tie the scores before the break. It would end this way, share spoils.
Coach Antony Akhulia has Stephen Waruru fit and ready, and he brings a side fresh from winning third place in the domestic cup competition. Decider of the 3rd place playoff Kassim Mwinyi come of the bench against Homeboyz in their last league encounter and can likely start when they face Nzoia.
Tied with Western Stima on points, Nzoia look to seer clear of the relegation battle and a win against Bidco brings them closer to the mid-table contest. They will go all out. Bidco, sitting pretty on 12th position on the log, know just how close the mid-table contest is, will not likely relent and lie flat against Nzoia. They too battle for the full share of spoils but a draw is a result they can be happy to take home.
Match kicks off at 3pm on Thursday 8th.