AFC Leopards will be without their key trio of Robinson Kamura, Victor Majid and Vincent Oburu when they travel to Thika Municipal Stadium for their GOtv Shield round of 16 clash against National Super League side Bidco United today.
The three were part of the Kenyan Premier League All Stars side which jetted back into the country over the weekend from Spain, where they played two friendly matches against Spanish Segunda sides Cordoba and Sevilla Atletico, losing both.
Their absence leave head coach Robert Matano in an awkward situation as he hunts for befitting replacements.
Leopards’ assistant coach Tom Juma said the team has prepared for the game just like any other and they have their eyes focused on reaching the quarters.
“We have had our normal preparations for the game with the objective being a win. We know they were under Matano previously but this is football. It is all about the 90 minutes on the pitch. We will miss Kamura, Oburu and Majid who are fatigued but we will give our best with the available players,” said Juma.
Leopards are getting back to life under the tutelage of Matano, who decamped from Bidco United at the beginning of the month. Matano got Leopards back to winning ways after a disastrous run which had seen Ingwe go for eight matches without victory.
The tactician returns to face his former immediate employers and will want to show where his loyalty lies at the moment in this must win clash as the search for silverware continues.
Bidco, who ply their trade in the second tier, will seek to turn the tables against all the odds and upset an elite side and most importantly prove to Matano they can still thrive in his absence.
The Thika-based come to the clash with a big dream of making it to the quarter finals in a bid to join fellow Super League sides Wazito and Vihiga United, who defied all odds to book their slots in the last eight.
Others already qualified are defending champions Tusker, Kariobangi Sharks, Sony Sugar, Eldoret Youth and Bandari. The quarter-final matches will be aired live on GOtv following their partnership with their sister company, DStv.