Timothy Ouma starts as Engin Firat names Harambee Stars squad to face Burundi in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Timothy Ouma starts as Engin Firat names Harambee Stars squad to face Burundi in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Festus Chuma 15:00 - 07.06.2024

Engin Firat reshuffles Harambee Stars' lineup for the World Cup qualifier against Burundi due to injuries, introducing new midfielders.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has revealed a strategically varied starting lineup for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Burundi.

The crucial Group F match is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.

In a tactical reshuffle necessitated by injuries, Firat has had to exclude seasoned defenders Eric Ouma and Joseph Okumu.

Both players are sidelined due to recent injuries, leaving a significant gap in the defensive setup.

To counter this, Firat has introduced Sweden-based Timothy Ouma and AFC Leopards' Clifton Miheso into the midfield, signaling a fresh approach in the team’s strategy.

This decision introduces new dynamics and roles, with Timothy Ouma making a rare start, which could be pivotal in stabilizing the midfield.

The defense will see Rooney Onyango, Daniel Anyembe, Johnstone Omurwa, and Aboud Omar forming a line in front of experienced goalkeeper Patrick Matasi.

This backline will be crucial in thwarting Burundi’s attempts on goal and will need to quickly establish synergy to maintain defensive solidity.

Midfield operations will be overseated by Anthony Akumu and Richard Odada, alongside the newly incorporated Ouma and Miheso.

Kenneth Muguna will also play a significant part, expected to link up play and create opportunities for the forward line.

Leading the charge upfront as the sole striker will be Michael Olunga.

Known for his sharp finishing and physical presence, Olunga’s role will be more critical than ever as he carries the goal-scoring responsibilities for his team.

Here is Harambee Stars' starting lineup in full

Goalkeeper: Patrick Matasi

Defenders: Rooney Onyango, Daniel Anyembe, Johnstone Omurwa, Aboud Omar

Midfielders: Anthony Akumu, Richard Odada, Timothy Ouma, Clifton Miheso, Kenneth Muguna

Forwards: Michael Olunga

Substitutes: Byrne Omondi, Ian Otieno, Collins Sichenje, Alphonce Omija, Baron Ochieng, John Ochieng, Chrispine Erambo, Duke Abuya, Austin Odhiambo, John Avire, Benson Omalla