The Kenyan Premier League resumes on Wednesday, March 30, after a two-week international break with seven matches lined up across the country.
League leaders Mathare United will open the proceedings when they come up against Nairobi City Stars before second-placed AFC Leopards entertain Kakamega Homeboyz in a Nyayo Stadium double header.
Mathare United vs Nairobi City Stars, Wednesday 2pm at Nyayo Stadium
Mathare United went into the two-week break as the league leaders following their 1-0 defeat of Thika United in their last match. Francis Kimanzi’s side have never stayed on top for this long since their title triumph in 2008 and they will be hoping to finish March at the summit when they play host to perennial strugglers Nairobi City Stars. Bobby Ogolla’s City Stars are winless in their opening five matches but will go into this match with their confidence up after salvaging a 2-2 draw against defending champions Gor Mahia in their previous assignment. Both teams won their home legs 2-0 last season. The Slum Boys have never lost while playing host to City Stars and they will be favorites to extend that run.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 14; Wins: Mathare 6-3 City Stars, 5 Draws
Last Meeting: Nairobi City Stars 2-0 Mathare United
AFC Leopards vs Kakamega Homeboyz, Wednesday 415pm at Nyayo Stadium
Should Mathare United drop points against City Stars in the preceding clash, Ingwe will go top should they collect what has been a routine win against newcomers Homeboyz. Ivan Minnaert’s side are the form team in the league and are not joint top by chance. In their three wins so far, they have beaten title candidates Gor Mahia and Bandari while a point against bogey team Chemelil was well taken as Ingwe had to come from behind. They face Mike Mururi’s Homeboyz who collected their second win of the campaign with a stunning 2-1 defeat of fellow promoted side Posta Rangers. Leopards, who will have keeper Lucas Indeche and winger Clifton Miheso both available after international assignments, beat Homeboyz 3-0 away and 2-1 at home when they last met in the league in 2013 and we expect them to win this one as well but Homeboyz could have a trick up their sleeves.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 2; Wins: AFC Leopards 2-0 Homeboyz, 0 Draws
Last Meeting: AFC Leopards 2-1 Homebozy
Prediction: Leopards win
Posta Rangers vs Sony Sugar, Wednesday 3pm at Ruaraka Grounds
Posta came out worst in the battle of promoted sides when they came up against Kakamega Homeboyz who beat them 2-1 in their previous match. It was the first time Zedekiah Otieno’s side tasted defeat this season and the boss will be looking for a response against laboring Sony Sugar who are bottom of the log with just a point from five games. Sony struggled last season and it seems they are following the same script. They have lost all their last four matches after an encouraging 1-1 draw with Ulinzi Stars in the league opener but there seems to be a problem in the technical bench and in the dressing room. It may be early days but the sugar millers can’t afford to continue giving out points. The last time they met Posta was in 2012, a match the mailmen won 1-0 to add to two previous wins they had collected when hosting Sony. Posta will be keen to get going once again after they were stopped by Homeboyz and a currently out of sorts Sony might just offer them the perfect opportunity.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 6: Wins: Posta 3-2 Sony, 1 Draw
Last Meeting: Posta Rangers 1-0 Sony Sugar
Prediction: Posta win
Western Stima vs Sofapaka, Wednesday 3pm at Moi Stadium, Kisumu
Both sides go into this match with only one win to boast of from their opening five matches. Sofapaka’s 3-1 win over Ushuru on matchday one has long been forgotten and replaced by a poor run of four consecutive defeats. Sofapaka head coach David Ouma must sure be running out of excuses now with their form the worst in the league. Only two points separate them from bottom side Sony Sugar as they travel to Kisumu to face Stima who aren’t doing any better with their record of one win and four draws. Stima won this corresponding tie 3-2 last season but both sides no longer posses such a level of potency that can produce five goals. Stima have the edge but having conceded in all but one of their last five games, there will be chances for Sofapaka.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 14; Wins: Sofapaka 6-3 Stima, 5 Draws
Last Meeting: Sofapaka 1-0 Western Stima
Muhoroni Youth vs Ushuru, Wednesday 3pm at Muhoroni
Muhoroni Youth are showing the form that saw them finish sixth last season. They edged Sony Sugar 1-0 in their previous match, a result that put them sixth and only two points adrift of top spot. They host Ushuru whose inconsistency is once again taking a toll on them. One win, two draws and two defeats tells the perfect story of what Ushuru have been and continue to be in the league. These two sides have only met four times with both getting a win a piece while two matches, both coming last season, have been drawn.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 4; Wins: Muhoroni 1-1 Ushuru, 2 Draws
Last Meeting: Ushuru 1-1 Muhoroni Youth
Prediction: Muhoroni win
Bandari vs Ulinzi Stars, Wednesday 3pm at Mbaraki
Third meets fifth when Bandari welcome the Soldiers in Mombasa. Both sides have been tipped to challenge for the title and the result of this match could give us a clear indication on who is ready. The odds are against Bandari who have never beaten Ulinzi in a league match but were victorious when the two sides met in the GOTV Shield which the Dockers would go on to win. Ulinzi left Mombasa with a 2-0 result in their league meeting last season and a similar result will see them leapfrog their hosts and possibly go top depending on other results. Robert Matano’s side are yet to taste defeat this season but the heat in Mombasa could prove too much to bare and play right in the hands of Bandari.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 10; Wins: Ulinzi 5-0 Bandari, 5 Draws
Last Meeting: Ulinzi Stars 0-0 Bandari
Chemelil Sugar vs Tusker FC, 3pm at Chemelil Stadium
Memories of a 5-1 humiliation must be playing in the minds of Chemelil players as they prepare to welcome Tusker FC. The Brewers handed Francis Baraza’s side their biggest loss last season and they will be keen to earn some sort of revenge be it even with a 1-0 win. Chemelil have only two wins to show in their last 14 meetings with the Brewers whose dominance in this tie has begot seven wins, three of them coming away. Both sides drew their previous matches, Chemelil holding AFC Leopards 1-1 while Tusker battled from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw with Ushuru. Too tight to call.
Head-to-Head Record: MP: 14; Wins: Tusker 7-2 Chemelil, 5 Draws
Last Meeting: Tusker 5-1 Chemelil