• Written by FourFourTwo Media

Shield Preview, Betting Tips: Ulinzi v Sharks

Ulinzi Stars' trophy cabinet is not one to draw envy. In its 21-year existence, the club, formed in 1995 when several military sides were combined, have won only five domestic titles despite being one of Kenya's most stable and financially able clubs.

Four of the five have been the big one: the Kenyan Premier League title which they won for three consecutive seasons in 2003, 2004 and 2005 as well as in 2010. The one title came in the form of the 2011 Top 8 Cup where they were the inaugural winners.

Missing in the this list is the title of a competition which has been rebranded far too many times for most remember. Currently, it's called the GOtv Shield competition, Kenya's top knockout tournament. 

The closest the Soldiers came to winning this title was in the year they came to existence: 1995 but they lost 2-1 to Rivatex in the final. Since then, it's all been one heartache after another.

They were eliminated by Mathare United in the third round in 2013, lost to Tusker in the fourth round in 2014 and were last year beaten by Bandari in the quarters. This year, they have kept the trend of moving one step forward by reaching the semis following a penalty shootout win over Nzoia United in the last 8.

Sharp Sharks wait

Lying in wait for the Soldiers is National Super League (NSL) side Kariobangi Sharks, a team riding high on confidence having not lost a match since April 27, some 19 matches ago. Sharks also go into this match holding the reputation of having knocked out defending champions Bandari who they beat 5-4 post-match penalties in the quarters.

This could be a blockbuster clash. Ulinzi will feel they have the edge given that they will be playing in front of their home crowd, that they are the favorites and also for the fact that they want to win a silverware for their ailing head coach Robert Matano.

Sharks of course will love nothing more than to upset the odds. These two sides have never met at any level which makes this an intriguing clash. The Soldiers can be ruthless at times but such are far and few. Sharks have been sharp in front of goal and they will cause the Ulinzi backline many problems.

Ulinzi have soaked in a goal in each of their last two league matches, losing both 1-0 while Sharks have kept a clean sheet in their last two, winning 3-0 and 2-0. Both teams should be able to score in this match though. In fact, a 2-2 draw at full time is likely to send this epic clash to a penalty shootout.

Also Read: Betting Tips: Tusker FC vs KCB

Form

Ulinzi Stars (KPL) - D D W L L

Kariobangi Sharks (NSL)-  W D W W W

Head-to-Head

The two teams have never met

Correct Score Prediction: 2-2 at FT

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  • Written by FourFourTwo Media

Shield Betting Tips, Preview: Tusker vs KCB

Kenyan Premier League leaders Tusker FC will be hoping they can take a giant step towards ending a 23-year wait for the GOtv Shield title when they battle KCB in the first semifinal of this year's competition.

The two sides clash at the Afraha Stadium on Saturday (Oct. 1) at 1pm with a rate spot in the final available before Ulinzi Stars take on Kariobangi Sharks in the other semifinal at 3:30pm.

A league and cup double remains priority for the Brewers who are four points clear in the race for the league title and have not won the Shield since their 1993 triumph when the team was referred to as Kenya Breweries while the tournament was known as the President’s Cup.

They have tried in futility in the years that followed to quench that thirst, coming close in 2005 but they were stunned 2-1 by World Hope in the final.

There is a feel-good atmosphere at the Ruaraka-based club that their wait for a fourth Shield title may be over. They beat Posta Rangers 2-1 in the quarter-final this past Wednesday to set up a last four date with second tier side KCB.

Giant killing?

The Bankers, relegated from the topflight last season, got one over a top tier side in the last 16 as well as the quarters, beating Thika United 1-0 before edging high-flying Western Stima 4-3 on post match penalties following a barren stalemate in normal time.

Despite their giant-killing run, they go into this battle as the underdogs not just because of their second tier status but their past record against the Brewers has been discouraging. In their 14 meetings before their relegation, KCB celebrated only a single win, losing 8 with five matches drawn. However, that victory came as recent as last season where they beat the Brewers 1-0 at home, then fought for a 1-1 draw in the return leg in August 2015.

The match will not be a walk in the park for the KPL leaders and the Bankers, who are unbeaten in their last 12 games in all competitions, are likely to give them a run for their money. With the international break coming after the semis, the Brewers can afford to field their strongest team as they will have enough time to recover before the league resumes. That could be bad news for the Bankers.

A Tusker win at half and full time will be a safe bet but expect KCB to sneak in a goal. For those who don't like direct outcomes, an Over 2.5 is safe enough with the opening half likely to provide more goals.

Form

Tusker (KPL) - L W D W D W

KCB (NSL)-  W W W D D

Head-to-Head

Tusker have won 8 to Posta's 1 in their previous 14 league meetings with the remaining 5 matches drawn.

Last Meeting (August 2011): Tusker 1-1 KCB

Correct Score Prediction: 3-1 to Tusker at FT

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