THE 2013 KPL TOP 8 PREVIEW PART 1

SOFAPAKA FC v THIKA UTD. by Fridah Kariuki


Top 8 is here with us again… The fixtures see history makers and Charity cup champions Sofapaka face the rising and exciting Thika United.
The game comes after both teams registered wins over the weekend, Sofapaka rallying from behind to record a 4-2 win against Karuturi Sports while Thika saw off another TOP 8 member Chemeil FC 2-1. 
Last season’s top scorer veteran John Baraza is the man to watch for Sofapaka alongside a resurgent Bob Mugalia and the exciting Obidiah Tarumbwe. Monday will also try to make his impact felt in the midfield.
Thika United have the new Kenyan hero and exciting Francis Kahata as the man to watch, David Kingatua, the new signing should is also one to watch and Thika’s top scorer currently Ezekiel Odera is sure to keep the Batoto Ba Mungu defence well occupied.
The game however will be a midfield battle. Both teams have very solid defences and capable finishers so whoever wins the midfield battle should win the game.
Sofapaka boasts of a wide range of top class experienced midfielders such as Monday, Kimani, veteran Titus Mulama, among others. Thika United on the other hand have a young but exciting midfield that includes Kahata and Miheso.
Sofapaka wing play and good passing game should trouble the Thika United defence and they may opt to use long ball through the middle which the Sofapaka team find hard to defend. 
This seems a tough much for Thika united whose only loss this season has been against Batoto Ba Mungu. However, they lie second in the league after 5 matches with 12 points while Sofapaka lie 5th after 6 matches with 9 points. 
Sofapaka were recently crowned Charity cup winners and they will be taking the ‘Top 8′ cup seriously. They started the league by beating Thika United then their form slumped but they have since bounced back.
Thika United will pose a great threat but in terms of experience and tactics, Sofapaka will just edge it.  
AFC Leopards V Chemelil FC  by Mercy Njueh

Its Chemilil once again people. *Sigh* I don’t envy AFC leopards. I can bet you, given the chance to choose their opponents, Tusker, Gor Mahia and Chemilil would have been a big NO for AFC Leopards. Tusker and Chemilil, well they just don’t like Ingwe, to put it mildly- Even when
on a poor run of form, they always seem to rise to the occasion against AFC.  As for Gor, the two have had a history between them. Meeting each other in the finals would have been a wish to both of them not the quarters.

Too bad, it’s not clubs who choose; AFC Leopards will meet Chemilil. A team they never seem to be good enough when playing against in the recent past. A team of course ‘pundits’ seem to believe are better than them- a fact best exposed by the simple statistic that INGWE are yet to win against Chemelil in the last three seasons. Compared to their winless streak against Tusker, saying they are jinxed against Chemilil may seem lame but hey, we are talking of three consecutive years; Home and away matches. They already played against them on their first match and they needed a late penalty to salvage a point.

Ingwe is currently on a bad run of form. Their loss to Muhoroni last weekend seemed to be  the icing on the cake but surprise! Surprise! Nicholas Muyoti in bully fashion during the Top 8 draw still insisted they are in good form.
A leaky defence, misfiring strikers and a thoroughly disjointed side.  AFC no longer tear apart opponents with purpose like they did last year a time like this.
If AFC Leopards being 11th having played 5 matches and collecting only five points means the team is on a good run, then I can comfortably say, Chemelil will thrash them. Mind not their position, Chemelil FC currently ranked fourth may be bottom of the league tomorrow but any day- will seek to match AFC Leopards and even a draw may be taken as a bad result.
If AFC go into the match on their current form, well it is bound to be boring. But if they up their game and give their all, well, maybe, just maybe, a draw might be in the offing at the ninety  and just if you thought it ends there- can’t we even have post-match penalties?
This is football. A match is played in the field, for ninety minutes. Where the coach, players and fans each play a role on their teams results; not forgetting lady luck. Maybe INGWE can break the
jinx but for now, I’ll go for a Chemilil win. I see the jinx continuing.
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