Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pre Match: W. Stima (H)

Collins Okinyo of Supersport predicts a 2-1 win for Leopards as they play home away from home against Western Stima.

AFC Leopards v Western Stima (City Stadium)  - (actually it is Mumias Complex)

Table toppers Leopards dropped two points when they were held by arch rivals Gor Mahia over the weekend but they remained perched at the top with 14 points. 

The gap has been narrowed by Sofapaka and coach Jan Koops will be hoping to react effectively by pulling off another win. 

Allan Wanga, Jimmy Bageya and Mike Barasa will be the men to spearhead Ingwe who must overcome a tough Western Stima who are currently seventh on the log with eight points.

Stima will be hoping for positive results after falling to Sofapaka at home last weekend. 

Prediction: 2-1

Francis Ontomwa of the Standard writes:-

The AFC Leopards-Western Stima Kenya Premier League (KPL) tie dubbed ‘The Western Derby’ promises to cause a stir at Mumias Complex today (Saturday).

The two teams approach this game with different missions but chasing the same prize-three points at stake.

While AFC Leopards will be keen to amass maximum points from the encounter and remain at the helm of the league, Stima will be crossing their fingers that they salvage things for their side after last weekend’s poor show against Sofapaka at their backyard, Bukhungu stadium.

Leopards’ tactician Jan Koops is confident of posting good results in their first assignment at their sponsors’ field.

"This is a big match that we want to approach with a lot of focus. We are putting aside last weekend’s temperatures when we played Gor Mahia and our task now is Stima" he told Feverpitch.

The Dutch tactician baptised Wepukhulu by Ingwe fans will be keen to impress the Western region fan base which is believed to carry the largest lot of the club’s following.

"I am happy that our team is improving by the day, we aren’t going to let down our fans who have stood by us for ages" he added.

The absence defender Amon Muchiri who picked an injury from the previous encounter will be Koop’s greatest worry. Other players who will be out of action due to injuries for Leopards include forward Emmanuel Tostao and fullback Abbas Kwalibaye.

Western Stima on their part have insisted that their preparations over the week put them at a good place to carry the day.

"We have been working very hard throughout our training sessions, and ours will be a strategy to make a comeback" said Stima coach, Henry Omino.

Stima registered their first home loss to the 2009 KPL champions Sofapaka last weekend and this match should provide a reprieve according to the coach.

Dennis Masinde Wandabwa of Futaa speaks to mickey Weche, the Leopards assistant coach and writes:-.

AFC Leopards assistant coach Mickey Weche has urged the club to show consistency in the next couple of weeks to enhance their title prospects.

The club has started the 2012 Kenyan Premier League season in good form, thus far going unbeaten.

Having won four and drawn two of their six matches, they sit pretty atop the KPL.

They will attempt to continue with their good start when they host Western Stima in Mumias, Saturday 24 March 2012 and Weche has urged them to put in consistency, to keep up their title charge.

-The season has started well for us and we are top of the table, plus the players are confident, which is really good.

-We have a tough game against Stima but we have a good squad and I am sure we will do well.

-As the season goes by, we will need to be consistent in our results to ensure we are still in the title race, so that is what we need to work on, Weche told

Leopards can extend their lead over second placed Sofapaka to three points. Sofapaka play Ulinzi Stars, Monday 26 March 2012.
Wandabwa also writes about the line up:-
AFC Leopards have made one change to their starting line-up that will face Western Stima today, Saturday 24 March 2012.

Robert Syongo comes in for the injured Amon Muchiri, the only change from the side that drew 0-0 with Gor Mahia in their last league match.

The backline has Syongo, Edwin Wafula, Jonas Nahimana and Eric Masika with Patrick Matasi between the sticks.

Head coach Jan Koops has deployed Salim Kinje, Martin Imbalabala and Bernard Mangoli to manage the midfield in the now popular 4-3-3 formation.

Victor Ochieng has bounced back in the first eleven joining International Allan Wanga and Jimmy Bageya to hunt for goals for Ingwe  

The Western Derby kicks off at 1500 hrs local time.

Patrick Matasi, Robert Syongo, Edwin Wafula, Jonas Nahimana, Eric Masika, Salim Kinje, Martin Imbalambala, Bernard Mangoli, Victor Ochieng, Allan Wanga, Jimmy Bageya
Subs: Barnabas Tiema, Laurent Tumba, Shaban, Sammy Mwangi, Charles Okwemba, Oscar Kadenge, Mike Barasa.

Timothy Olobulu of MichezoAfrika focuses on the unbeaten run of Leopards stretching to nineteen games before they meet Western Stima.

AFC Leopards coach Jan koops says that he is keen extending his unbeaten match  record to 20 when his side faces Western Stima in a Kenyan Premier League match set for Mumias Complex on Saturday.

“Western Stima is a very young side and right now every team is charged to playing and winning against the league leaders. It will not be an easy match but we are also equally prepared for the match. We have gone for 19 games without a loss and  would want to make it 20 this weekend”, said Koops.

The Dutch tactician says that he will have to do with the absence of Amon Muchiri whom he says will commence light training next week. Abbas Kiwaalabye is out for a long duration while young striker Emanuel Tostao also joins the sick list

Koops has urged his charges not to underestimate the powermen saying they are a great side and a hard opponent to crack.

“They play very good attacking football and this is not a team that my boys can underrate. They are also a physical side and this will make the match more interesting”, he adds.
AFC Leopards leads the KPL table standings with 14 points,same as Sofapaka but they have a superior goal difference.
Carol Radull of The Star predicts a Leopards win of 2-1.

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