KCB braced for top-of-the-table clash at Tusker

@icia_jacob KCB head coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno says their top-of-the-table clash against Tusker FC will offer a good opportunity for his charges to test their spine and resolve to win the FKF Premier League. Both teams go into the match as the top contenders for the league title, with Tusker topping the FKF-PL standings at the midway point of the season and KCB leading a tight chasing pack in second. Tusker have 36 points, six more than the Bankers who have a game in hand although that tally and table standings might change following the expulsion of Zoo Kericho from the top-flight league. “Tusker are a very good team. They have won the league before, they have a very experienced coach who has also won many titles in the country but we also have a very ambitious young team and I know the boys are hungry to deliver their first Premier League medal,” Zico said. Unlike his counterpart Robert Matano, the experienced coach is not worried about the fitness of his players going to the match, noting his team has attained at least 70 percent of the level he demands. “We have been training virtually all through and the last two weeks of group training have been nothing but hard work to get right the speed and shape we need as we resume. We are not badly off, we are at about 75 percent so I’m confident on Saturday we will give a good account of ourselves,” Zico offered. He will however have to do without dependable striker Enoch Agwanda, who has been ruled out injured for the rest of the season. However, Michael Mutinda who was injured during national duty for Harambee Stars has resumed training, offering a big boost for Zico as the second half of the season beckons. Captain Dennis Odhiambo is under no illusion Saturday’s match will be significant for both sides’ title race. “It is in our hands to make it easy or tough, because we have an opportunity to reduce the gap between us and them (Tusker). At the moment we look ready for it but after the match we will know how ready we are to challenge for it, but we have a plan for the match which I believe will give us a good result,” he noted. Mutinda on his part says the biggest motivation towards the match is the league resumption, which all players have been waiting for. “There is that joy for the players to resume doing what they love, personally I’m elated although I’m still recovering from injury. It is not just for us, but all teams. It will depend on whose plan works best on the pitch, and I hope we can start off on a positive note,” he offered. The match will be staged at the Ruarak Grounds, Nairobi from 1:00pm EAT, preceding another exciting fixture between AFC Leopards and Nzoia Sugar at 3:15pm. In other matches Saturday, Bandari FC will be entertaining Bidco United at the Mbaraki Sports Club while Western Stima will host Posta Rangers at the Moi Stadium Kisumu. Round 17 will continue on Sunday with reigning champions Gor Mahia locking horns against Nairobi City Stars, Sofapaka FC against Wazito FC with struggling Mathare United hosting Vihiga United.

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