Action galore is expected this weekend in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Premier League as title holders Butali Sugar Warriors take on Kenya Police on Saturday at City Park.
The match will be the first encounter between the two sides since the infamous final match of the 2018 season where Butali edged Police 2-1 to win the league on goal difference, consequently dethroning the former champions.
Speaking with Citizen Digital, Butali assistant coach Godfrey Wakachunga said his charges are braced for the challenge terming the clash “a high-stake encounter”.
“We are ready for the match and as always we expect a tight match from Police which is a good side too. It is also a very important match in that it will shows the direction the title is likely to head to this season,” said Wakachunga.
On his part, Police head coach Patrick Mugambi is also expecting a mouth-watering clash with the law enforcers keen to avenge for last term’s defeat which cost them the title.
“We know this is a very crucial match for both teams; it will be determined by finer details. In our last encounter we lost in the final minutes due to a lapse in concentration. It is something we will be keen to avoid tomorrow,” Mugambi told Citizen Digital.
The encounter will also reunite former Police players Calvins Kanu and Amos Barkibir with their former employer after the duo decamped to Butali in the close season.
While Police will have no injury concerns heading to the match, Butali will miss the services of Frank Wanangwe who coincidentally scored the dramatic goal that clinched the title for Butali.
The two teams will be playing their second matches of the season, with the champions having edged Chase Sailors in their opening match while Police were held to a 1-1 draw by Nairobi Simba in the first match of the campaign.
Elsewhere, struggling Chase Sailors will face a defining weekend with two matches lined up for the league returnees; they take on Strathmore University Gladiators on Friday evening before facing off with Nairobi Simba on Sunday.
Sailors are winless in their two opening matches of the season thus far after falling to United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) 3-0 in their first match before losing to champions Butali 2-0 in their second match.
Meanwhile, in the women front, Kenya women Premier League champions Telkom could storm to the summit of the league with a win over Strathmore University on Sunday.
Upon reaping maximum points from the university students who have equal points with them, they will go top with seven points, two above Lakers who are out of action this weekend.
However Telkom’s coach Judy Apioh expects a difficult task come Sunday, despite the optimism to overcome.
“This will be one of the hardest for us this season, it is never easy playing them, it will be a big match for us,” she said.
Telkom who have only played one match which ended in a 1-1 draw against second placed Amira Sailors, before being awarded three points following JKUAT failure to show up for their tie.
“Yes, we know some teams look strong this season, but look, we have only played one match, wait we play over the weekend and then we can talk about the log,” Apioh told Citizen Digital.
The match which takes place at the City Park Hockey grounds from 3:00pm is the only one slated for this weekend.
Chase Sailors vs Strathmore City Park 5pm
Butali vs Kenya Police City Park 6pm
Chase Sailors vs Nairobi Simba City Park 5pm
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