Key battle fronts in ‘Mashemeji derby’ at Nyayo Stadium

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards coaches will be looking to get their best combination as Kenya’s most successful clubs clash in the 82nd edition of the ‘Mashemeji derby’.

The match, which will be hosted at their shared Nyayo Stadium, headlines round 21 of the Sportpesa Premier League, with Gor Mahia, on 43 points, aiming to consolidate their lead at the summit of the table while Ingwe, on 23, will be aiming for top half of the table.

Here are the key battle fronts where the match could be won or lost:

Meddie Kagere v Robinson Kamura

Kagere is without doubt the most in form player in Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr’s team. The Rwandan import has been at the centre of K’Ogalo’s current superb performance alongside compatriot Jacques Tuyisenge. With five goals to his name, including one in the first leg of the derby in May, another heroic performance will definitely increase the chances of a league double over their nemesis. But Kamura has the potential to keep Kagere at bay should he be selected by AFC Leopards coach Robert Matano. The former Mathare United defender has been key pillar of Ingwe’s defence.

Jacques Tuyisenge v Salim Abdalla

Ahead of the first leg tie, Tuyisenge’s performance in front of goal had hit a low, having scored only one goal. He has rediscovered his form and now has five despite a difficult time against experienced defenders in the top flight. In Abdalla, Leopards have a routine figure in defence that has managed to keep Tuyisenge quite in previous matches.  The lanky defender will again be tasked with keeping the Rwandan off the ball.

Karim Nizigiyimana v Alexis Kitenge

Love him or hate him Kitenge is the man to watch in Ingwe’s line-up. He heads to Sunday’s match having scored a hat-trick against Wazito that catapulted Leopards to a Gotv semi-finals. He was also involved in the team’s win over Tusker last Thursday. Nizigiyimana, who has an impressive work rate, will therefore be called upon to make the necessary interceptions against Leopards.

Kenneth Muguna v Victor Majid

Muguna was at the centre of the pack when Leopards lost 3-0 to Gor in the first leg. As speculation on his exit from the club at the end of the season heightens, how he composes himself before and during the match will be key to his performance. Majid will be tasked with keeping him silent for 90 minutes.

Bonface Oluoch v Gabriel Andika

Gor goalkeeper Oluoch’s position is under threat after impressive performance from his deputy Peter Odhiambo who has conceded only one goal in last four matches. Andika will be making a debut for Leopards in the derby after successfully ousting error-prone Ian Otieno.

Match tickets will be up for sale from 11am at the match venue.

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