Gor Mahia’s new coach Hassan Oktay is set to coach in his first ever Mashemeji derby this Saturday.
Gor Mahia have experienced a good run of form since their surprise loss to KCB that saw fans call for Oktay’s dismissal. Oktay kept his cool to lead Gor Mahia to wins over SoNy Sugar, Zamalek and Vihiga United.
AFC Leopards for their part have struggled with losses to Bandari and a shock loss to Mount Kenya United on Wednesday.
But Oktay is adamant that form does not matter in derbies.
“I don’t think form counts in derbies,” Oktay said. “They might have been struggling of late but they have a new coach and derbies always has another element so we will be up against a different side and we will have to be at our best if we are to win that match.” he said.
Oktay is indeed right. In fact in derbies, the better side that creates more chances can often lose. Which is why Oktay will have warned his charges about overconfidence.
AFC Leopards skipper Robinson Kamura, speaking to the media on Thursday, says his team is not treating this match any different than they would treat other matches. As far as he and his team-mates are concerned, this is just another opportunity for three points.
Gor Mahia will once again rely on new sensation Nicholas Kipkirui for goals. Fans will be hoping that Kahata has recovered sufficiently as he will be the main engine. From keeper Boniface Oluoch, fans, his team-mates and the technical staff will be hoping that he is focused. Harun Shakava, who often plays his best matches in the derby, will once again be relied on for defence and possibly goals in dead ball situations. Last year he scored the lone goal that enabled Kogalo to beat Ingwe 1-0 in the Supercup.
Last year the two rivals met four times. Gor Mahia won three of those matches in regulation. The other one went to penalties which Gor Mahia won 5-4 thus earning the right to play Hull City.