Zoo will be hoping to topple AFC Leopards when both sides meet in week 23 of league action at the Kericho Green Stadium
KPL WEEK 23 Predictions
By Zachary Oguda | Fri 08 Sep, 2017 13:41
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The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) resumes on Saturday 9 - Sunday 10 September after a week’s break for the international week which saw the Kenya national team Harambee Stars take on Mozambique.

Week 23 promises a lot of action especially with some of the top teams facing rather tricky fixtures.

But what awaits teams at the lower end of the table?

Saturday 9 September

Nakumatt FC v Posta Rangers

The weekend commences at the Ruaraka Stadium where league newbies Nakumatt come against title chasers Posta Rangers. The shoppers should take solace in the reverse fixture where they held Sammy Omollo's side to a goalless draw and with Rangers yet to record a single win in their last four games, this is a game Nakumatt feel they should get a point.

Both teams were not less than three seasons ago the creame de la creame of the FKF Premier League (now the NSL) with Nakumatt having some decent record over their opponents; only losing twice in their seven meetings.

Verdict: Rangers are still one of the best teams in the division but having released a chunk of players for the national team over the weekend, one wonders if they will be ready to face a fresh Nakumatt side who had a full week of rest. 

A 1-1 draw will be a fair result for both teams.

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Bandari - Kariobangi Sharks

Mathew Odongo was the difference when these teams met in the reverse fixture and Bandari would like to inflict a revenge. Sharks started the season slowly, picked up but seem to have been on the back foot in recent games. In their last three away games, they have lost two and drawn one.

Verdict: Bandari are only a point below Sharks and with their goalkeeper Wilson Obungu having celebrated his birthday in midweek, this is an opportunity to add the gloss to his career. 

Bandari FC 1-0 Kariobangi Sharks.

Gor Mahia - Nzoia United

If there's a moment Gor Mahia are not expected to blink, then it is this time. Having picked 22 points away from home, they are the best in the league away from home and the green army would want to keep a respectable distance from the chasing pack. Nzoia are no pushovers though; they proved in this fixture in the first leg but having lost one of their most dependable player - Boniface Omondi - to their rivals, this is a game that could be beyond them.

Verdict: Nzoia are expected to give a good fight but the vociferous Gor Mahia fan base in Kisumu will give them a tough time. This will be another good afternoon for the 15-time KPL Champions. 

Gor Mahia 2-0 Nzoia Sugar FC

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Kakamega Homeboyz - Thika United

Homeboyz have picked 25 points at home this season (the most in the league) and have not lost to Thika in their last four meetings; winning two and drawing two. Thika United have been blowing hot and cold and none is sure which Thika side will turn up on the afternoon. The visitors will also be missing the services of five first team players in the tie and that should even make it easy for their opponents.

Verdict: Kakamega Homeboyz 2-0 Thika United

Muhoroni Youth FC - Ulinzi Stars

Muhoroni Youth have lost four of their last five games at home and have only picked eleven points at their home turf this season (the worst in the top flight). Coach James Omondi insists that they will have to make their home games count if they are to stay in the top flight but that has not happened. His team coming against Ulinzi Stars at this time of the season is not a fixture he would have hoped for but he will have to conjure a way against a team who are just from winning the East Africa Military Games.

Verdict: Placed bottom on the log, Muhoroni Youth team seem to be in disarray and no one sees where they would get their help from. 

Muhoroni Youth 1-2 Ulinzi Stars.

Mathare United - Western Stima

In a week of players facing their former employers, Mathare United keeper Levis Opiyo will be up against Western Stima, his home for the second part of the 2016 season. He has promised to frustrate Stima when the two teams meet in Ruaraka Stadium, with both teams trying hard to escape the red zone as early as possible.

Verdict: A revitalized Mathare United are yet to lose in their last eight games but will be wary of a Stima side whom they have not beaten in their last four meetings. The dwindling state of Stima though points to a Mathare win. Mathare United 3-2 Western Stima

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Sunday 10 September

Sofapaka - Chemelil Sugar

Sofapaka are only six points below league leaders Gor Mahia and will be hosting Chemelil at the Narok County Stadium already aware of how Gor would have fared a day earlier. With the monetary boost at the club and Umaru Kasumba angling at the golden boot, the Sam Ssimbwa side should fancy their chances against a Chemelil side who come to this match on the back of a goalless draw against Nzoia Sugar FC.

Verdict: Sofapaka FC 2-1 Chemelil Sugar FC

Sony Sugar - Tusker FC

The worst home team comes up against one of the worst away team at the Awendo Green Stadium. Having only picked two wins in their last eight games, Tusker comes to this game on a worrying form but will hope that their record against Sony at the Awendo Stadium gives them an edge. The last time Sony won a game against the Brewers at this ground was back in 2014 when a Naftali Okombo strike proved the difference.

Verdict: Considering their form and a series of injuries to some of their key players, Sony might find the ride tough in Awendo and with the Salim Babu side having lost their midweek game against Kakamega Homeboyz, he will be pumped enough for this tie and should at least grab a draw. 

Sony Sugar 0-0 Tusker FC

Zoo Kericho v AFC Leopards

Newly promoted Zoo Kericho are on top of AFC Leopards in the league standings; that alone shows how the once mighty club in the league has fallen. Leopards coach Robert Matano insisted after their derby draw that his team could finish among the best ten teams and for this to become a reality he must start by picking positive results. It has never been an easy ride for any team at the Kericho Green Stadium and Zoo will want to for the umpteenth time this season show their home fans that they can match the best in the league.

Verdict: The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Zoo had taken the lead through Stanslaus Akiya with Gilbert Fiamenyo ensuring a share of spoils late in the game. Zoo will fancy this game but a draw is in the offing. 

Zoo Kericho 2-2 AFC Leopards.

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Zachary Oguda

Twitter: @zaxoguda

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