AFC Leopards vs Gor Mahia preview: Who will wink first?
Should the Mashemeji Derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards go on as scheduled tomorrow at Nyayo National Stadium, the latter’s seriousness to clinch the 2020/21 Betking Premier League will be put under severe test.
Unlike K’ogalo, Ingwe have a mathematical chance of winning the glittering league trophy which is said to have cost Football Kenya Federation (FKF) upwards of Sh 5 Million Shillings.
Ingwe players have been promised fully furnished houses by the management and a loss for the team-which lies in the third position in the chart behind Tusker and KCB-will almost be calamitous.
But the obvious remains that Tusker and KCB, who are perched in first and second positions respectively in the table, have the brightest chances of being declared the country’s football kings.
The Nairobi Derby is easily the country's most famous and there can be no disputing the prestige and power of the 90th meeting between the two teams.
However, over and above, it is Leopards, who settled for a goalless draw with their nemesis on February 7, who have the biggest of pressures to conjure up a win after having lived in the shadows of Gor for the last couple of years.
For starters, Gor have won six direct matches over a Leopards side that is praying for a slip-up of KCB and Tusker to end their run of bad luck in the league having last tasted success in 1998.
Yesterday, Leopards Technical Director Tom Juma said the team’s players cannt wait to face their Gor counterparts in their quest to bring them down to earth.
“So far so good. We may be lying in the third position with an 11-point disadvantage against the leaders but it doesn’t seem that bad. It doesn’t make a good reading by perennially losing to Gor but the good thing is that we have built the confidence of players and they are more than ready to break the jinx,” said Juma.
Gor coach Sammy Omollo said this would be like any other match and noted that although they have lost kep players it is all about confidence and self belief by his charges to cross the Ingwe hurdle.
The Green Army, who have lost back to back matches against Kariobangi Sharks and Ulinzi Stars, are expected to lean heavily on Jules Ulimwengu, John Macharia and Samuel Onyango to get positive results.
On the other hand, Leopards should keep faith on reliable goal getters Elvis Rupia, Bienvenue Shaka and Washingtone Munene to get that most needed win.