Tusker FC seek end to slump in Taita Taveta

Tusker FC seek end to slump in Taita Taveta

Tusker FC hope to use their weekend Shield Cup clash with Taita Taveta All Stars as a quick route back to winning ways after running into a dry Kenyan Premier League (KPL) patch. Tusker are enduring a drastic slump in form having lost all their previous three KPL matches but remain heavy favourites to prevail over the coastal-based Cup minnows at the Taita Taveta University grounds. Their dip has left head coach Robert Matano scratching his head for answers having made an emphatic first impression in his managerial return at the Brewers but the tactician is hopeful they can snap back to life on Saturday. “I am hopeful that we will go to the game with our heads held high. I know we’ve experienced tough times recently but I know my boys will put an end to that. Our first game is very important so we will give it our best,” Matano told Citizen Digital. Last year, Matano led AFC Leopards to winning the Shield title after defeating Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 in the final and will be hoping he can achieve similar success back at Tusker. The veteran tactician refused to label their opponents ‘underdogs’, warning the competition has previously produced upset results where KPL sides are floored by amateur teams. “There are no underdogs in this tournament since every team wants to go all the way. Our approach is simple; we have to play well and take this match seriously,” Matano said. Taita Taveta All Stars will fancy their chances against the 11-time national champions having played against their KPL peers Kariobangi Sharks and Bandari FC in their build-up matches. Ten-time Cup winners Gor Mahia FC began their title quest with a 5-1 drubbing of SS Assad last Sunday in Mombasa, marking the first clash of the round of 64 matches. The winner of the tournament will represent Kenya in the CAF Confederation Cup as well as pocket KSh2 million in prize money as runners-up will bag KSh1 million.   ROUND OF 64 FIXTURES Friday Friend Zone v Naivas (Camp Toyoyo grounds, 4pm) Nanyuki Youth v Kariobangi Sharks (Nanyuki Stadium, 3pm) Nakuru West Combined v Kenya Police (ASK Showgrounds, 1pm) MKU Nakuru v Kisumu All Stars (ASK Showgrounds, 3.15pm) Transmara Sugar v Posta Rangers (Enoosaen grounds, 1pm) Saturday Egerton University v Western Stima (Egerton University grounds, 2pm) Nanyuki AllStars v KCB (Nanyuki Stadium, 3pm) Nunguni Yulu v Ushuru (UNOA Sports ground, 3pm) Berlin v Bandari (Garissa TTC grounds, 3pm) Emmausians v Leysa (Mbaraki Sports grounds) Taita Taveta AllStars v Tusker (Taita Taveta University grounds, 3pm) Shabana v AFC Leopards (Moi Stadium, Kisumu, 3pm) Baba Dogo United v Equity Bank (Baba Dogo grounds, 2pm) Kenpoly v Savannah Cement (Camp Toyoyo grounds, 10am) Nairobi Water v Wazito (Camp Toyoyo grounds, 12pm) Vegpro v KSG (Karuturi grounds, 1pm) Rainforest v Sony Sugar (Karuturi grounds, 3.15pm) Nyamira AllStars v Vihiga United (Kericho Green Stadium, 3pm) Bungoma SuperStars v ASEC (Sudi Stadium, 3pm) Tandaza v Zetech University (Kabete Campus, 3pm) Transfoc v Eldoret Youth (Kenyatta Stadium, Kitale 1pm) Transmillan v Ulinzi Stars (Kenyatta Stadium, Kitale 3.15pm) Sunday Kisumu HotStars v Raiply (Moi Stadium, Kisumu 1pm) Dero v Nzoia Sugar (Moi Stadium, Kisumu 3.15pm) Riverplate v Nakuru AllStars (Bukhungu Stadium, 1pm) Kabras United v Bidco United (Bukhungu Stadium, 3.15pm) Fortune Sacco v Mwatate United (Mikinduri grounds, 3pm) Ligi Ndogo v Talanta (Hope Centre, 3pm) Balaji v Modern Coast Rangers (Camp Toyoyo grounds, 1pm) Reunion v Sofapaka (Camp Toyoyo grounds, 3.15pm)   -Report by Dan Ogega

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