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Zapata eyes second place as Leopards host stubborn Rangers

by kenya-tribune

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The battle for second place in the SportPesa Premier League takes heat this weekend as AFC Leopards and Bandari face Posta Rangers and Zoo respectively.

Leopards will host Rangers at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday afternoon while Bandari will travel to Kericho to take on Zoo at the Kericho Green Stadium.

Bandari, who have an impressive winning record spanning six games and a 12 match unbeaten streak, are in second place on the SPL table with 54 points, six more than third placed Ingwe who lost their last two games.

It therefore falls on the big cats to win against Rangers this weekend as they bid for a second place finish when the 2018 season comes to an end next month.

Apart from gaining on the Dockers, a win for Ingwe in Saturday’s match will also act as a superb morale booster as they prepare to defend their SportPesa Shield title with a semifinal match against Sofapaka next weekend.

The last time the two teams met was on February 3 in the season opener that ended in a one-all draw. Ingwe have not beaten the mail men since 2012, although five of the seven matches played within that period have ended in draws.

Against Rangers, Ingwe coach Rodolfo Zapata will be without seven players due to injuries namely Dennis Sikhayi, Robinson Kamura, Abdallah Salim, Moses Mburu, Jafari Owiti, Marvin Nabwire and Saad Musa.

“We have lost two matches in a row, so it follows that we must win this next match against Rangers. As usual there is a lot of pressure to win because we must satisfy our supporters’ wishes as well as that of the management.

“We shall be missing so many key players but as a team we have purposed to get maximum points because we are keen on getting ourselves on that second place position,” the Argentine said.

In another match lined up this weekend, reigning champions Gor Mahia are scheduled to take on Thika United at the Thika sub county Stadium in spite of a cash crisis at the club that has seen players boycott training for the better part of this week.

It will therefore be a good opportunity for bottom placed Thika United to challenge for their first win in 11 games as they fight to climb out of the relegation zone.

Chemelil Sugar v Mathare United (Chemelil Complex)

Nakumatt v Kariobangi Sharks (Camp Toyoyo)

AFC Leopards v Posta Rangers (Machakos Stadium)

Ulinzi Stars v Wazito (Kericho Green Stadium)

Thika United v Gor Mahia (Thika Stadium)

Kakamega Homeboyz v Nzoia Sugar (Bukhungu)

Vihiga United v SoNy Sugar (Mumias Complex)

Zoo v Bandari (Kericho Green Stadium)

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