Log leaders Shabana face Kisumu All Stars as Assad and Heroes square off in Coastal derby

© Costal Heroes

NSL Log leaders Shabana face Kisumu All Stars as Assad and Heroes square off in Coastal derby

Festus Chuma 09:32 - 25.03.2023

Shabana sit top with 35 points from 15 matches, while All Stars 11th with 19 points.

Shabana FC's bid for top-flight promotion continues when they face Kisumu All Stars at the Moi Stadium on Saturday.

Tore Bobe will be out to extend their lead to 12 points, although their nearest rivals, Muranga Seal will be left with a game at hand.

But still, on top of Shabana's priorities will be collecting three points and finishing the first leg with an almost unassailable lead.

Shabana will also be aiming to continue with their dominance over All Stars, who have been wandering in the mid-table for several weeks now.

While All Stars have faced financial struggles in recent weeks, they still pose a danger to unsettling Shabana's title charge.

Shabana coach Sammy Okoth is optimistic about his team going past All Stars and increasing their chances of returning to topflight next season.

"We have a mission in Kisumu and that is to pick maximum points. We need to fight for three points to keep our dream of qualifying for the Premier League alive," said Okoth.

All Stars have drawn three of their last five matches and will be looking to return to winning ways against a strong Shabana side.

The Blue Eagles enter the encounter on Sunday after a 1-1 draw at Kibera Black Stars.

The Kisumu County-sponsored side arrived for the Black Stars match just hours before kickoff as the trip was nearly aborted due to lack of funds.

Kisumu All Stars are placed 11th on the league standings with 19 points from 13 games played this season.

In the last meeting between the two sides, played at the Gusii Stadium on July 12 last year, Shabana won the match 2-1.

In another match, SS Assad and Coastal Heroes will battle it at the Shamu Grounds in Ukunda on Saturday afternoon.

Coastal Heroes have hit form at the right time, and are gradually moving up the ladder. They have lost twice in their last five matches.

Assad, on the other hand, have won once in their last five matches. They are currently in position 15th on the log with just four wins from 15 games played this season.

No Assad player is injured for this match, and coach Ali Marumu will be at Ukunda with most of his players.

The Simbas will be banking on striker Ibrahim Shikeli who has rediscovered his scoring touch, and Beja Nyamawi, the current top scorer with nine goals.

The last time these two teams met, Coastal Heroes beat Assad 1-0 at the Mbaraki Sports Club, with Nyamawi finding the back of the net on that day.

Elsewhere, Vihiga United will host Naivas FC at the Mumias Sports Complex. Vihiga are placed 15th on the log with eight points, while Naivas are fifth with 25 points from the same number of matches.