AFC Leopards face Gor Mahia at Kasarani Stadium, at 4.15 pm this Sunday (19TH May 2019) in a Kenyan Premier League encounter dubbed mashemeji derby that has more than pride at stake. If Gor Mahia wins, they will inch closer to the title, and should Bandari lose to ZOO FC at 3 pm earlier in the day then Gor Mahia will be crowned champions with a win against AFC Leopards.
AFC leopards form: AFC leopards come into this match in poor form. They are winless in four matches (LDDL), and with not much to play for this season, it is possible that lack of motivation and the fear of relegation dissipating has led to less focus from the playing unit.
Gor Mahia’s form: Gor Mahia lost their last league match to Nzoia Sugar, their only loss in five matches. (DDWWL). On their day, they are simply the best team in the country, and they will be motivated to win this league title against their strongest rivals.
Gor Mahia lost 1-0 to Nzoia sugar on Wednesday, 15th May, a game that should they have won, they would have been crowned champions of the Kenyan premier league. Going into that encounter, much of the talk online was on how AFC leopards would give them a guard of honour in the weekend as league champions, something Ingwe fans considered heresy. It is possible that Gor Mahia players lost their focus in that game and Nzoia sugar punished them.
Head to Head
The head to head table makes for grim reading for supporters of AFC leopards. According to flashscore.co.ke, AFC leopards haven’t beaten Gor Mahia in a league encounter since 2016. In their last five encounters, Gor Mahia has four wins and one draw.
The battle to watch out for
The key duels in this game are likely to be Jacques Tuyisenge vs. David Cheche, and Paul Were vs. Philemon Otieno. David Cheche is one of the excellent short term signings that AFC leopards made to stabilize their league position, and he will face Tuyisenge, arguably the most lethal striker in Kenyan football. If Cheche can keep Tuyisenge under wraps, I think Ingwe stand a chance in this game.
The other key battle will be between Paul Were and Philemon Otieno on AFC’s left wing. Paul Were is one of the fastest and most skillful wingers in Kenyan premier league, and he will be facing a solid fullback in Philemon Otieno, who is not the quickest. Both these players are Harambee stars internationals, and this will be a key contest. Were getting the better of Philemon could be AFC’s best chance of victory on Sunday.
Gor Mahia knows that a win will see them crowned champions, but AFC leopards will do their best to avoid this. I think a 2-2 draw that both teams would be happy with is the most likely outcome.