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Nairobi Mashemeji Derby Preview: Can AFC Leopards Beat Gor Mahia?

The oldest soccer rivalry in Kenya, the Mashemeji Derby, kicks off at 4.00 pm tomorrow at the Kasarani Stadium.

The oldest soccer rivalry in Kenya, the Mashemeji Derby, kicks off at 4.00 pm tomorrow at the Kasarani Stadium.

Gor Mahia will be at home hosting their bitter rivals AFC Leopards hoping to continue with their fine form in the Kenyan Premier League that has seen them play their three games without defeat.

The game will be the 84th meeting between the two sides, with the statistics showing that Leopards have won 27 times with Gor Mahia winning 26 times with the 31 remaining games ending in draws.

AFC Leopards have a lot of work to do. On paper, their rivals are huge favorites to win the tie, considering that over the last 22 league meetings, Gor have won 12 matches and lost five, the other five ending in draws.

Their recent record against K’Ogalo has not been the best; the last time they won a game against them was way back in March 2016 when Lamine Diallo scored a late goal at Kasarani.

Last season, Gor won the first leg 2-1 and return leg 2-0 and odds are hugely stocked for them to carry the day against their rivals.

But Leopards new coach Andre Casa Mbungo has promised to change things on Saturday.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “I’ve had little time to work with the players but we have another training session before the derby that I will use to instill the philosophy we plan to use in the game.”   [/perfectpullquote]

“I am confident that we can work towards a positive result and I call on the fans to come in large numbers to support us,” Mbungo added.

Mbungo took over the reins earlier this week from Serbian coach Marko Vasiljevik. He lost his first game of the league on Wednesday to lowly ranked Mt.Kenya United, a loss that saw the 13-times Kenyan Champions only a point above the relegation zone in 15th place.

Gor sit in fourth with 19 points but have two games in hand and their coach Hassan Oktay has expressed belief in his squad but refuses to treat the fixture as though it is something special so as to maintain the level of focus on his side.

“I know how the fans value this fixture but for me and my players, we will get onto the pitch with only one thing in mind- to win.”

“The atmosphere will be better than it is for other league games and that will be great for everyone. We’re coming off two crucial wins and if we stick to the script, we can make it three on Saturday,” the Turkish tactician told SportPesa News.

Gor will have a clean bill of health with no injuries heading into the tie while Leopards have plenty to worry about. Defender Isaac Oduro will be out same as midfielders Marvin Nabwire and Edward Seda. They might be boosted with the return of Victor Majid, but the midfielder has just returned to training and may not have hit the right notes of physical form for the tie.

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