Sofapaka, Ushuru battle to stay up as KPL ends

The 2016 Kenyan Premier League reaches its conclusion on Saturday after 30 rounds of entertaining footballing action across the country.

There may not be much left to play for now that the league title has already been determined, but local football enthusiasts should anticipate a goal fest as teams jostle one last time for a favourable finish in the league table.

Tusker will be crowned champions regardless of the outcome of their match against Gor Mahia at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as they already confirmed their status as league champions two weeks ago after brushing aside AFC Leopards by a 1-0 win in Nakuru.

As such, the biggest battle this weekend will be the relegation dogfight, where one team will follow Nairobi City Stars in the second tier competition.

Nairobi City Stars have exchanged places with National Super League side Nzoia Sugar in the Premier League, meaning that their match against Sony Sugar will be a mere formality.

The real relegation battle will be between Ushuru and Sofapaka, who are separated by only three points pending games against Posta Rangers and Thika United respectively.

Ushuru, who have been sliding down the pecking order throughout the second half of the season, will face Posta Rangers at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani needing only one point to get an assurance of safety.

For Batoto ba Mungu however, the landscape is much more complicated, and they find themselves requiring a combination of occurrences in order to attain safety.

The 2009 league champions will first pray that the taxmen lose against Rangers, and then try their best to beat Thika United by a seven-goal margin.

An improbable occurrence no doubt, but Batoto ba Mungu could just upstage the relegation battle and survive against the taxmen.

The top eight slots have already been sealed, with Posta Rangers and Kakamega Homeboyz joining in the best eight teams despite the fact that they re-joined the top flight just this year.

Kakamega Homeboyz, Mathare United, Posta Rangers, Ulinzi Stars, Western Stima and Chemelil Sugar are all running to make up the third league position.

The race for this year’s Golden Boot is the other thing worth watch out for. Ulinzi Stars striker John Mark Makwatta leads the race with 13 goals, and could extend this tally further as his team faces Bandari at their Afraha Stadium.

His closest challengers Wycliffe Ochomo and Kepha Aswani, who lag behind with only one goal less, are both out of contention having had their contracts terminated at their various clubs, leaving only 10-goal Gor Mahia striker Jacques Tuyisenge in the running.

FIXTURES (All matches at 3pm)

Ulinzi Stars v Bandari (Afraha Stadium)

Posta Rangers v Ushuru (Kasarani Stadium)

AFC Leopards v Muhoroni Youth (Mumias Complex)

Chemelil Sugar v Mathare United (Chemelil Stadium)

Sofapaka vThika United (Machakos Stadium)

Gor Mahia v Tusker (Nyayo Stadium)

Western Stima v KK Homeboyz (Moi Stadium)

City Stars v Sony Sugar (Ruaraka)

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