Reinforced AFC Leopards seeking winning start against Talanta as Shabana face familiar newly-promoted foes

©AFC Leopards

FKFPL Reinforced AFC Leopards seeking winning start against Talanta as Shabana face familiar newly-promoted foes

Mark Kinyanjui 09:45 - 27.08.2023

Ingwe have signed 17 players after the lifting of the transfer ban, will they help them get a winning start against a resolute Talanta?

AFC Leopards will be hoping for a perfect start to their new FKF Premier League campaign under the tutelage of new head coach Tom Juma Oundo when they face FC Talanta at the Nyayo National Stadium from 3:00 PM on Sunday.

Leopards unveiled the signings of 17 new players to add depth, bite and quality after what has been a very tumultuous last two seasons for the side at a time when a transfer ban had been imposed on them for failing to settle their former coach Patrick Aussems’ debts.

Last season, Ingwe finished seventh in the league on just 51 points, 19 behind eventual champions and sworn rivals Gor Mahia, who lifted their 20th league title in June. 

The club were severely lacking in decisiveness in front of goal, scoring just 32 times, the least of any club in the top half of the premier league table.

In fairness to them, they did have a solid defensive unit. Keeper Levis Opiyo kept 15 clean sheets, just two short of the league-leading 17 kept by Gor Mahia’s Gad Mathews Otieno and new teammate Humphrey Katasi, then of Nzoia Sugar.

However, they have added bite in the attacking areas, bringing back Aziz Okaka from Wazito, Clifton Miheso from Kenya Police, Hassan Beja from Nzoia Sugar and Kevin Kimani, also from Wazito. The four signings should help add some attacking spark to the side in their quest to start being more prolific.

However, they will be facing Talanta FC, themselves in trouble after being fined Ksh 420,000 by the FKF’s First Instance Board for failing to bring forward a women’s team as stipulated by CAF in order to qualify for a national club license.

Talanta under Ken Kenyatta have been known to be defensively resolute, denying their opponents time and space to find space between the lines.

Leopards will have their work cut out to try and beat this hard nut to crack if they are to get off to a winning start.

In Homa Bay, Shabana FC will host Murang’a Seal in a clash between two newly-promoted sides seeking to make their statements in the topflight of Kenyan football.

Shabana will not be using Gusii Stadium as it continues to undergo renovations help improve its current worn-out state, but will be hoping their temporary home will prove to be a fortress.

The last time both sides faced each other, it was Seal that emerged victorious, although they hosted them at home in an NSL title deciding match.

Whoever manages to get the win will lay a good platform to build on as they continue to get to grips with the know hows of how to maneuver through the highest division in the land.

In other matches, Posta Rangers will be playing Bidco United, while Nairobi City Stars face Muhoroni Youth (formely Wazito).