It is time once again for the Mashemeji derby which pits Kenya’s two most supported teams. The two teams will meet on Sunday at the Nyayo national stadium in the latest installment of a rivalry that goes back 45 years.
On current form, Gor Mahia should have the upper hand as Leopards are in 12th place having recentky lost to Nairobi City stars. But when it comes to this derby, current form is not usually much of a factor. Last year Leopards were in top form and looked set to run away with the league title when they came up against a Gor Mahia side that was in poor form and battling in the relegation zone. However Gor Mahia managed to force a scoreless draw even after having Ali Abondo ejected from the game and thus, earning himself the nickname “tear gas”.
Leopards will be depending on Mike Baraza who seems to score in every derby game since 2011. To counter him, Gor Mahia will count on skipper Jerim Onyango who has been in superb form between the sticks as well as David Owino “Jashirati” , Ivan Anguyo and Israel Emuge who will be experiencing the Mashemeji derby for the first time.
Gor Mahia will have the psychological edge having won the last three matches. But leopards will be hoping their new coach, Luc Eymeael can come up with a formula to end their run of bad results against their arch rivals. They will also be counting in their new young charges, Pattilah Omoto and Edwin Seda to rise to the occasion.
Gor Mahia for their part will be counting on Kevin Omondi, Moses Odhiambo and Anthony Akumu to create scoring chances while hoping that Dan Sserunkuma, Rama Salim and Edwin Lavatsa bring their scoring boots.