Coach Abdallah Juma’s Western Stima will come up to within one point of Nzoia Sugar is they can dispatch the sugar millers in their Saturday 19th BetKing Premier League contest set to be staged at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.
Both teams suffered losses in their recent outings with Nzoia taking the heavier blow, a home defeat to fellow struggling Vihiga United on Tuesday. Stima on the other hand, thought they had grabbed all the three points in Nairobi when Rodgers Ouma gave them a first half lead. A late rally from Nairobi City Stars however, ensured the visitors left the capital with nothing.
Nzoia coach Ibrahim Shikanda knows to well how the Kisumu clash is important and is leaving nothing to chance.
”We fell bitterly to Vihiga and some things must change. I think we played well but just could not get our chances in. The visitors got their chances and scored from them,” he says of the Tuesday loss.
”We have to do well in Kisumu because we have stayed for quite some time without a win. They (Stima) are a good side and we will be careful,” he continues.
There has only been one outright victory for either of the sides from their last five engagements with the other four ending in ties.
Stima have welcomed back a bulk of their experienced lot with Clifford Omondi and James Ogada both starting Tuesday’s encounter against City Stars. On Saturday, they come up against Harambee Stars’ latest midfield revelation Juma Kevin who had a standout game against United.
Having scored a third of their goals from penalties this season, Nzoia Sugar’s pressure upfront will be a point of concern for Stima’s backline who comprise former Gor Mahia man Kennedy Owino and Mukisa Junior. A consistent high press from the likes of Hillary Simiyu, Philip Muchuma and Masha Gaetan have always borne something in the attacking third for the sugar millers- penalties even. For the set-pieces, Nzoia welcome left-back Dennis Wanjala who missed Tuesday’s match due to accumulated yellow cards.
Teenage prospect Rodgers Omondi has began making the most of his minutes at Stima and unchecked, from the midfield, can be a thorn in the flesh of Nzoia on Saturday.
The match is scheduled for 3 pm.