Defending champions Gor Mahia resume domestic duties with a hotly-billed fixture against pretenders to the Kenyan Premier League title Kakamega Homeboyz in Kisumu’s artificial surface on Thursday evening.
K’Ogalo utilized the just concluded FIFA International break to play a high profile friendly with Al Hilal in Benghazi, Libya and starts to catch on the piled up league fixtures in their hallowed lakeside city.
Thursday’s niggly opponents have ramped up the pressure and excitement to the fixture by goading K’Ogalo throughout the international week with boisterous proclamations of victory long before a ball has been kicked.
Homeboyz are 4th on the log, one point behind Gor Mahia and could be top of the table come end of the day if they get three points in Kisumu.Their unusual proximity to the summit has sent the club leadership blabbering all over social media and K’Ogalo are charging to show who is boss.
The team reincorporates its international quartet of David Mapigano, Joash Onyango, Lawrence Juma and Kenneth Muguna who were on duty for Tanzania and Kenya in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers while the rest ventured into Libya for the historic friendly.
Experienced custodian Boniface Oluoch comes into the fixture with a big shout for a starting berth after hugely impressing in Benghazi. The 34 year-old kept K’Ogalo in the game and gives Polack a selection headache between the sticks.
Makeshift right back Bernard Ondiek is expected to retain the spot with Geoffrey Ochieng occupying his preferred left position. Another selection conundrum is in the heart of defense with Onyango, Charles Momanyi, Joachim Oluoch and Elvis Ronack all fit for purpose.
The back line will have to be mean enough to starve off Homeboyz with their free scoring forwards. Homeboyz have the joint highest number of goals this season alongside Tusker FC, both having plundered seventeen goals.
K’Ogalo’s last meeting with Homeboyz ended in a one all draw at Bukhungu stadium, the hosts leveling late after Nicholas Kipkirui had put Gor Mahia ahead. Read Gor Mahia vs Kakamega Homeboyz ends in a 1:1 draw.
Victory for K’Ogalo will see the team remain on top of the KPL table with more games at hand. Polack will therefore, heavily rely on his midfield and forward line to fire on all cylinders to breach the kakamega based outfit.
With Tobias Otieno having established himself as first choice in defensive midfield position, it is upon the brigade deployed ahead of him and in the wings to crack a fairly generous Homeboyz defense that has soaked in eleven goals so far.
Competition for starting berths on the flanks and tip of attack have equally increased with Gnamien Yikpe, Kipkirui and Francis Afriyie all itching to prove a point.
On the flanks, Kenyan international Clifton Miheso, Boniface Omondi and Dickson Ambundo are embroiled in a race for game time.