The curtains to the 2017 season of the Kenya Premier league (KPL) will come down this weekend with nine matches lined up on Saturday 18 November, all starting at 2pm.
At the top, Gor Mahia will be crowned officially as the 2017 champions and this match at the Moi Stadium, Kisumu will be aired live on Bamba Sports.
However, all eyes and ears will be on the bottom end of the log with relegation jigsaw yet to be settled for two teams. Muhoroni Youth have already confirmed their place at next season’s National Super League (NSL) as they will finish bottom, putting an end to their five year association with the Premier League.
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Three teams, Thika United, Western Stima and Mathare United are still unsure of safety and go into their final games needing to outdo each other. At the end of it, one will go down and another will proceed to the promotion playoff.
Champions Gor Mahia have had a stellar campaign which has seen them rack-up a 21 - point gap at the top of the log after winning a total of 22 matches, eight more than Sofapaka in second. They take on Sony Sugar at the Moi stadium in Kisumu.
Posta Rangers vs Mathare United
For the second game in a row Posta Rangers will lock horns with another relegation threatened side, Mathare United, after last weekend’s 1-0 loss away to Western Stima and will be eager to get back on track in this clash at Camp Toyoyo. Sammy Pamzo Omollo’s charges need these final three points on offer for very different reasons to their opponents.
The team currently in third place has the chance of finishing second in the campaign to seal bragging rights ahead of the likes of Sofapaka and deposed champions Tusker after a lackluster campaign that has seen the team draw 17 matches which is the highest number of draws in the league since 2013. The last team to draw as many matches coincidentally is the team that they finish the campaign against.
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Mathare are currently on a seven game unbeaten run which includes a two game winning streak but have struggled over the course of the season and now find themselves only three points from the drop zone.
To be fair to them, the Slum Boys have it a little bit easier than the other teams fighting for survival as they only need to avoid defeat on Saturday to confirm their status in the top flight for the 20th year in a row.
The man at the helm is Francis Kimanzi in his second stint at the club after his first yielded the league title back in 2008. If the team ends up being relegated then Kimanzi will have the distinct tag of being the first manager to win the league and also suffer relegation with the same team.
Mathare will be without the services of Levis Opiyo who is suspended but welcome back David Owino after a two - match suspension.
Thika United vs Bandari
At 16th place and tied on 35 points with second from bottom side Western Stima, Thika United will be aiming for all three points when they host coastal side Bandari at their Thika Sub County Stadium. Nicholas Muyoti’s charges need to better Stima’s result if they are to extend their stay in the league.
Thika have won the second least number of games at seven, losing 12 and drawing 14 and will miss the services of midfielder Said Tsuma who picked his 10th caution of the season in the 2-1 mid-week loss to Zoo FC and is therefore suspended for this clash.
Bandari on the other hand will secure a top half finish with a win as they currently lie eighth tied on 43 points with ninth place Nzoia Sugar. The team under the tutelage of Paul Nkata who led Tusker to the league title last season has endured a rocky campaign on and off the pitch which has resulted in the team losing a total of 14 games with bottom side Muhoroni Youth having lost more, at 18.
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Early last month four players from the team namely Jacob Keli, Enock Agwanda, Noah Abich and Tyrone Owino were informed by the club’s hierarchy
that their services were no longer required and had their contracts terminated.
Former Gor Mahia forward Edwin Lavatsa has risen lately to be the team’s leading scorer with five goals. The team has received the most number of dismissals at seven.
Chemelil Sugar vs Western Stima
Stima did themselves a huge boost last time out when they secured only their second win in six games when they overcame Posta Rangers by a solitary goal to prolong their stay in the league until at least the final day of the season. Survival is still out of their hands though as they will need to win their final game and hope that Thika and Mathare loss.
Chemelil on the other hand secured safety on match day 31 when they drew 2-2 with Kakamega Homeboyz but failed to replicate the intensity of that game when they fell by a solitary goal against AFC Leopards last time out.
Juma Abdalla’s charges are 13th on the log with 39 points.
Below is the full fixture list of matches on the final round;
Chemelil Sugar vs Western Stima (Chemelil Sports Complex)
Thika United vs Bandari FC (Thika Sub-county stadium)
Posta Rangers vs Mathare United (Camp Toyoyo)
Gor Mahia vs Sony Sugar (Moi stadium )
Muhoroni Youth vs AFC Leopards (Mumias Sports Complex)
Nakumatt vs Kariobangi Sharks (Ruaraka)
Nzoia Sugar vs Kakamega Homeboyz (Sudi stadium)
Sofapaka vs Zoo FC (Narok County stadium)
Ulinzi Stars vs Tusker (Afraha Stadium)