Wednesday, August 1 – 3:00p.m Local time – Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County, Kenya
Gor Mahia’s attention quickly turns to domestic action as they brace themselves up for a bout with Kariobangi Sharks on Wednesday afternoon in the Kenyan Premier League.
The match will be the only piece of action taking place in the middle of the week, as K’Ogalo desperately chases to draw on level terms with the rest of the teams in the KPL in regards to the number of games played.
If form is anything to go by however, Gor Mahia is overwhelmingly poles apart from the rest of the pack, as they currently lead the Premier League charge on 52 points – a ludicrous 12 point cushion over second placed Sofapaka despite having played three fewer games.
What’s more baffling is the constricted nature of teams ranked below the defending champions, as second placed Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars in fifth are only separated by a paltry two points. Other than the obvious financial might that Gor Mahia enjoys due to their massively rich history, fanatical following and overly munificent success over the years, their ruthless aggression this season has been attributed to the individual brilliance of head coach Dylan Kerr.
The 51-year old has on time without number registered enviable results despite fielding largely unrecognizable sides over the course of the campaign- all in a bid to meet the growing demand of competitions the all-time KPL winners are expected to take part in.
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Such was the case when the tinker man enforced changes over the weekend; one that saw his side emerge 3-2 winners over Tanzanian side Young Africans (Yanga) in their fourth Group D match of the CAF Confederation Cup. Despite carrying a 4-0 advantage from the first leg, the Kenyan side made a rip-roaring start by going ahead after just 36 seconds courtesy of a diving header by George Odhiambo.
Mayienga’s relentless pressure had them doubling the led through a Jacques Tuyisenge strike four minutes before the break, although Yanga pulled one back after the interval through Deus Kaseke. Substitute Lawarance Juma delivered an inch prefect cross from a resulting corner in the 64th minute; one that skipper Haron Shakava connected with at the far post to restore the two-goal cushion once again.
Raphael Loth painstakingly scored Yanga’s second of the night nine minutes before stoppage time, but it never looked like it was going to unsettle the Kenyan Premier League champions. The result in Dar es Salaam as such means that Yanga are the first team in the group to be eliminated having accumulated a single point from their first four matches.
Gor Mahia on the other hand inched ever closer to the quarter-finals, having drawn level on eight points with USM Alger, albeit second behind the Algerian side despite having a similar goal difference.
Gor Mahia vs. Kariobangi Sharks betting prediction
Three wins, two loses and a draw has Kariobangi Sharks seventh on the log with 34 points – an impressive outcome considering they only gained Premier League status a little over a year ago.
Whereas the Sharks are well rested with KPL action often few and far between, there is growing dissident over Gor Mahia’s congested fixture, as the defending champions are poised to play a whopping 10 games in a span of 28 days throughout the month of August – two of which will be the remainder of the CAF Confederation Group D matches at home to Rayon Sports and away to USM Alger.
As such, Dylan Kerr will without question field a fringe side against Kariobangi Sharks, nonetheless with the expectation that his charges will lace up the large boots vacated by his starting eleven.
Prediction: Double Chance – Gor Mahia to win or Draw
Gor Mahia vs Kariobangi Sharks recent results
Kariobangi Sharks 1-2 Gor Mahia (February 25, 2018)
Timothy Omwenga 22′
Samuel Onyango 10′
Ephrem Guikan 70′
Gor Mahia 3-1 Kariobangi Sharks (October 17, 2017)
Jacques Tuyisenge 11′
Jacques Tuyisenge 20′
Jacques Tuyisenge 34′
Masoud Juma 74′ (P)
Kariobangi Sharks 1-3 Gor Mahia (March 12, 2017)
Martin Odongo 90′
Haron Shakava 19′
Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza 39′
Jacques Tuyisenge 88′
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