KENYA's Harambee Stars are expected to land in Mwanza on Tuesday ahead of their friendly match against Taifa Stars due on Wednesday at the CCM Kirumba Stadium.
Reports from Kenya said the Harambee Stars head coach Henri Michel has retained the squad that lost 2-1 to South Africa's Bafana Bafana in an international friendly on 16 October at the Nyayo National Stadium.
But Stars' duo of Victor Wanyama and goalkeeper Arnold Origi will not honour the fixture to be played on a FIFA date for friendly matches. Origi will be busy in the league playoffs after his team UllKisa lost 2-1 to Bryne on Sunday evening and his place has been taken by Ulinzi stars short stopper Jactone Odhiambo. Wanyama who plies his trade for Celtic could not make it for the match as he has been unwell since playing a crucial role in their win against Barcelona and has been replaced by Gor Mahia midfilder Antony Akumu who has been in superb form this season.
Meanwhile mercurial Ayub Timbe failed to get a connecting flight and will meet the team on Tuesday at the Jomo Kenyatta airport to connect directly to Mwanza in Tanzania. "Origi and Wanyama will not be available for the Tanzania friendly after Origi informed us he will be involved in playoffs for his team while Wanyama has been unwell since playing against Barcelona.
I have decided to replace them with Jactone Odhiambo and Teddy Akumu respectively following their good form this season," Henry Michel was quoted as saying by supersport.com. The team will hold a training session at the Mwanza Stadium upon arrival in Tanzania. Hosts Taifa Stars, moved into camp in Mwanza on Saturday, ready for the friendly. Dane coach Kim Poulsen has summoned 22 players for the Harambee Stars encounter.
Most of the players are expected to be included in the Mainland team 'Kilimanjaro Stars' and Zanzibar Heroes for the forthcoming Tusker, CECAFA Challenge Cup set for Kampala, Uganda from November 24 to December 8. Zanzibar players Aggrey Morris, Said Nassor 'Cholo' and Issa Rashid will be released after the match against Kenya for them to join Zanzibar Heroes ready for Senior Challenge Cup.
The remaining players in the Stars squad will transmute to Kilimanjaro Stars with the camp remaining in Mwanza. In his squad, Poulsen has called in an in form Simba SC midfielder Amri Kiemba, while wayward Msimbazi Reds midfielder Haruna Moshi and Yanga striker Said Bahanuzi have been dropped. Kiemba, who has hit the top form this season, scoring five league goals so far for his club has caught the eye of many soccer pundits.
His composed display in the pack of the midfield coupled with top notch finishing has played a great deal and there was no way the Danish coach could avoid including him in his squad. Poulsen has included several young players in his squad, with the likes of Yanga midfielder Frank Domayo, striker Simon Msuva (Yanga) and Simba gifted striker Christopher Edward in the set-up.