Nzoia out to tame Sharks with second place in sight as Mathare's 'Korea' seeks first win

© Nzoia Sugar

FKFPL Nzoia out to tame Sharks with second place in sight as Mathare's 'Korea' seeks first win

Mark Kinyanjui 06:10 - 27.05.2023

The Sugar millers can move level on points with Gor Mahia if they win at home while the Slum Boys are seeking to avoid relegation

Nzoia Sugar will be eyeing second place should they beat a low-on-confidence Kariobangi Sharks at the Sudi Stadium in Bungoma on Saturday.

Under head coach Salim Babu, the sugar millers have been a breath of fresh air this season, going on a good run of form, that has made them unexpected title challengers.

They have only lost one of their last five league fixtures, a 1-0 defeat to a rejuvenated AFC Leopards a fortnight ago. Their brand of progressive, expansive football has captivated the eyes of many a supporter and neutrals alike.

They possess the fourth-most potent attack, scoring 40 goals, inspired by the flair, creativity and directness of Joseph Macharia, who has 15 in the league this season.

At the back, they have the third-best defence after Kenya Police and KCB, conceding just 17 times all season.

William Muluya’s Sharks will, therefore, have their work cut out given their abysmal form. They are on a woeful run, winning just one of their last eight league fixtures, and were unceremoniously dumped out of the FKF Cup quarter-final following a 6-1 thumping by Kakamega Homeboyz.

His charges have been especially vulnerable at leaving gaps that the players tend to create as they move out of position in an effort to work the ball into the box through possession-based football.

However, in their 1-0 loss to Tusker last week, they looked the better side in the second half. Muluya had shifted to a 3-5-2 formation before switching back to a 4-2-2-2 which gave Tusker all sorts of problems. The only thing they lacked was the finishing touch.

If they can carry that momentum and performance to Bungoma, they stand a chance of getting a result.

In another league fixture, relegation-threatened Mathare United will be hoping to get a first win under new coach Charles 'Korea' Omondi when they play KCB at the Ruaraka grounds on Saturday.

Omondi has failed to get a tune out of his side since taking charge, losing all four. Having been tasked with steering the club away from relegation when he took over from Samuel Koko last month. He has plenty of work to do as he faces a KCB side that boast a mean defence.

KCB slipped out of the title race mathematically after failing to beat Sofapaka last Monday. 

The bankers have been the best team at creating goal scoring opportunities this season but have been let down by poor finishing. However, they have a chance to correct the wrongs as they will be facing a side that possesses the worst defence in the league.

The Slum Boys have conceded 59 goals all season and against a side that possesses the flair and creativity of the likes of Musa Masika, they might experience problems.

Elsewhere, Sofapaka will play Posta Rangers in a mid-table clash. Both sides have nothing to lose as they are safe from relegation, but stand no chance of winning the title either.

David Ouma will continue to use the fixture as a platform to allow his young Sofapaka charges to continue getting game time.

Posta's John Kamau, who has been trying to instill a new playing style, will, meanwhile, be hoping his players can continue to get to grips with the new ideas.

FKF-PL Saturday fixtures

Sofapaka vs Posta Rangers -1pm Kasarani Annex

Mathare United vs KCB - 3pm Ruaraka Grounds

Nzoia Sugar vs Kariobangi Sharks - 3pm Sudi Stadium.