The Kenya Premier league Top eight tournament takes centre stage yet again this weekend as Ulinzi Stars battle KCB and Gor Mahia face off against Thika United as the four sides look to join AFC Leopards and Tusker in the semi-finals.
The two matches will be at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos with Robert Matano leading his soldiers in today's match against KCB.
Ulinzi will be without captain Stephen Ocholla who only resumed training this week and Frederick Oruko (fracture) and Kevin Simiyu (knee) who are still out and are yet to start training.
"Ocholla has started light training this morning but he cannot run with the rest. It is highly unlikely he will be involved against KCB over the weekend. We are giving him time to get fully fit. Probably in the next league game he should be fit," assistant coach Benjamin Nyangweso said.
The bankers meanwhile sacked coach Juma Abdalla last Sunday and will have veteran midfielder Michael Oyando as stand in coach.
KCB will welcome back to the starting line up striker Mungai Kiongera as well as Francis Ouma as they look to put behind them the woes of the league where they remain the only side yet to win a match.
Tomorrow Gor take on Thika who have become a tough nut to crack for the beaten finalists last year's but defender David Owino was confident they will prevail in tomorrow's encounter.
"We are looking forward to the match against Thika and the good thing is that this is a knock-out match. Everyone will be going for a win and this time we must work hard to break them early, that's the only way to open up the game."said the Kenyan international defender
Tickets for the match go on sale on match day from 10am at the Machakos junction and at the old Naivas Supermarket in Machakos town. They will retail at Sh500 for VIP and Sh200 for terraces.
In another development Leopards have brought in KCB's sacked head coach Abdalla in as assistant coach as they continued their search for a new coach to replace James Nandwa
Leopards secretary general George Aladwa said Abdalla's vast experience in the Kenya Premier League would help the club become competitive once again as they look to end their 15- year wait for the national league title
"Abdalla has a lot of experience. Last year he did very well with limited resources and we hope his presence in the technical bench will give our players a lift as we seek to improve in the league and domestic cup competitions," Aladwa said
Joining Abdalla in the Ingwe bench will be former player Richard Madegwa who is now the team manager taking the place of Francis Xavier. Aladwa further disclosed that a new head coach will be appointed next week with Italian Emmanuel Fillipini and Briton Trevor Morgan favourites to land the job.