Round 22: Crucial fixtures usher the return of KPL action

The Kenyan Premier League will return this weekend- February 22nd and 23rd for round 22 action, one that is key for potential title chasers as it is the first time that defending champions Gor Mahia go into a round with a slim lead at the top and with no match to spare.

Returns haven’t been tidy for coach Steve Pollack’s men who, at some point, enjoyed staying at the top of the log with up to three matches in hand. Needless to say, everything pointed to yet another season of dominance from Gor. However, losing to Sofapaka and being held to a 1-1 draw by Western Stima in their recent two matches haven’t borne well for their title prospects and they now sit a precarious 4 points above 2016 champions Tusker. It is Tusker’s turn to have a match in hand as they have only played 19 times.

Kakamega Homeboyz’s recent draws against Bandari and Wazito have derailed their efforts to permanently occupy top spot. Nicholas Muyoti’s men sit 3rd on the log but will be happy if Tusker drop points in round 22. Buoyed by his recent awarding as the league’s coach of the month for January, Muyoti faces a resurgent Chemelil Sugar who currently play under the sponsorship of Muhoroni Youth FC owner Moses Adagala. A Chemelil Sugar that no longer rakes in goals.

It has been a tough recent few weeks for Gor Mahia. They travel to Zoo FC for round 22 [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]
Kenya Commercial Bank and Ulinzi Stars give a distant chase at 4th and 5th respectively.

Weekend Meetings

Wazito stand in the way of Tusker’s ambitions to give a spirited chase at the champions and they travel to Ruaraka this Sunday. It is not an easy match by any standards, Wazito finally have some semblance of ascendancy in the league having picked four points from their last two.

Unlike last season where Gor ended their campaign with a comfortable 8-point gap between them and second-place Bandari, their chase for a third successive title is under close surveillance. They travel to Kericho to play a side they have dispatched a dozen times before. It could be the spark they need to reignite the fire inside that as of Wednesday last week, seemed to be waning.

Kakamega Homeboyz host Chemelil Sugar on the same Sunday.

Saturday does have a few mouth-watering matches with AFC Leopards taking their battle with Sofapaka to the Mumias Sports Complex. Bandari will have played Mathare United from 2 pm on the same day.

Posta Rangers have Kenya Commercial Bank next on their roster, a Saturday 3 pm contest while Western Stima travel to Kariobangi Sharks. Ulinzi Stars will host Kisumu All Stars on Sunday in a bid to complete a double over the bottom-placed side.