Saturday, May 12 – 2:00p.m Local time Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County, Kenya
Mathare United is set to host Bandari FC for the first encounter of Match Day 15 in the Kenyan Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The early kickoff is poised to take place at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, with head coach Francis Kimanzi expecting all but a facile contest, given Bandari’s rich vein of form.
A series of inexplicable results has seen the Slum Boys fall worryingly behind in the race for the KPL title; one that has allowed Ulinzi Stars to throw a spanner in the works.
The Soldiers’ 2-0 victory away to Nzoia Sugar last weekend saw them eclipse Mathare for second place on the Kenyan Premier League log, albeit with a superior goal difference seeing as both sides are level on 25 points.
Ulinzi head coach Dunstan Nyaudo, who was appointed ahead of the 2018 campaign, promised to improve on Benjamin Nyangweso’s seventh place finish last season; a declaration that is surely in the works.
The side from the Kenya Armed Forces has been on a purple patch of three wins in their last three League matches against Nakumatt, Chemelil Sugar and Nzoia Sugar respectively, reaping vital points that have unquestionably improved their credibility in the quest for a first KPL crown in eight years.
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Although Ulinzi’s elevation to title contention has been richly deserved, it has to a wide extent been aided by Mathare United’s degeneration in recent weeks. Kimanzi’s charges may have led the standings for considerably long, but there is the underlying argument that the Slum Boys could have done more to frustrate Gor Mahia’s efforts in the League, more so due to the defending champions’ continued participation on the continental stage.
Despite playing in the CAF Champions League at the start of the season before being relegated to the CAF Confederation Cup, K’Ogalo still attended to their domestic duties; even further leapfrogging Mathare to reclaim their place at the summit of the Premier League. Gor currently lead the title charge with 30points, having opened up a five-point lead in spite of having two games in hand.
Francis Kimanzi had at the start of the campaign acknowledged his wariness over Gor Mahia’s dominance on the local scene, despite leading the table with a comfortable margin. Their biggest undoing nonetheless has to be the winless run witnessed over the last four games.
Two losses coupled with two consecutive draws have dented Mathare’s title hopes, especially with the introduction of Ulinzi who further complicate the proverbial algorithm.
Although two’s company and three’s a crowd, that won’t impede Kimanzi from keeping alive his title chances by pushing for a result against Bandari.
Mathare United vs. Bandari match prediction
Bandari have amassed seven points from their last four games following two wins, a draw and a 2-0 defeat to Tusker on their last outing, in stark contrast to Mathare’s two points accumulated over the last four games.
A win will see the Slam Boys narrow the gap with Gor Mahia, who will be hosting EFL Championship side Hull City this weekend in a promotional match courtesy of SportPesa, but Bandari will likewise fancy their chances against the former champions.
Prediction: Both teams to score @ WilliamHill.com
Mathare United vs. Bandari recent results
Bandari 2-2 Mathare United (August 27, 2017)
Shaban Kenga 12′
Enock Agwanda 80′
David Mwangi 24′
Elijah Mwanzia 90’+2
Mathare United 0-1 Bandari (May 5, 2017)
Anthony Wambani 32′
Mathare United 3-1 Bandari (October 22, 2016)
Wyvonne Isuza 32′
Obadiah Ndege 72′
Obadiah Ndege 80′ (P)
Anthony Kimani Wanjohi 15′ (P)
Bandari 0-1 Mathare (May 15, 2016)
Mwangi Robinson 73′
Mathare United 1-1 Bandari (August 21, 2015)
Mwangi Robinson 59′
George Abege 65′
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