Five Things To Look Out For In The Slum Derby
The Slum Derby pitting second placed Mathare United against Kariobangi Sharks is certainly the highlight of this weekend's Kenyan Premier League (KPL) action. Here are the five key things that will shape Sunday's clash.
Kimanzi vs Muluya
Francis Kimanzi will renew rivalry with his apprentice William Muluya in this fixture with the sole intention of bagging maximum points to draw level on 27 points with league leaders Gor Mahia.
Muluya beat Kimanzi in both legs last season as Kariobangi Sharks had a memorable debut campaign in the topflight that saw them finish third on the log. Both clubs have had contrasting fortunes this season with Kimanzi’s Mathare United basking at the top echelons while Sharks look more like a mid-table side.
Mathare will certainly be the favorites going by their recent form but Muluya will want to walk away with the bragging rights and maintain his perfect record against his mentor. Touch line battles looms between the teacher and his protégé. Who will blink first? The mentor or mentee?
Will Mwendwa emulate Abuya?
After the expiry of his contract, Harrison Mwendwa moved to Kariobangi Sharks in December 2017 to reunite with his childhood coach Muluya. That move ended his four year stay at Mathare United after failing to impress Kimanzi who restricted his contribution to bit part roles.
Mwendwa seems to have undergone a renaissance under Muluya with his quick feet and flashes of brilliance resurfacing in recent matches. This will be his first appearance against his former employers and he will want to prove a point to Kimanzi.
While a former Mathare United player Duke Abuya set the tone for Sharks’ emphatic 3-0 win last season in the second leg, it remains to be seen whether Mwendwa will also sting Mathare and guide his side to yet another win in the Derby.
Can Sharks stop Alwanga?
Mathare United’s performance can be partly attributed to Clifford Alwanga’s resurgence. The lanky forward is the club’s top scorer with 6 goals in 13 matches, a far cry from his tally at Tusker last season where he was a fringe player.
He showed his class last weekend to come off the bench and net the crucial equalizer against Gor Mahia. This will be his first Slum Derby and he will not only want to leave a mark but also extend his tally. With his current form, he will be a goal threat moving forward.
Mboya needs a clean sheet
Mathare United have emerged as serious title contenders after a fine start to the season. However their performances have been blotted by a porous defence that has conceded 16 goals with custodian Robert Mboya only keeping 3 clean sheets in 12 matches.
Mboya will be facing his former employers in the Derby and after falling down the pecking order at the club eventually losing his position to John Oyemba, he will be out to prove he is still a top keeper. His exploits in the second leg fixture last season denied Mathare United a way back in the game after saving Chrispin Oduor’s penalty with the tie still at 1-0.
He will be looking to replicate the same performance against Sharks and earn his fourth clean sheet of the season. A clean sheet for Mboya will be key to guiding Mathare United to their first victory in the Slum Derby.
Omotto vs Seda
The partnership of Patilla Omotto and Edward Seda at Luc Eymael’s AFC Leopards was always a joy to watch. In fact Ingwe is yet to find such a technically gifted pair since Seda and Omotto left the club.
Both players have since established themselves as regulars at their new homes with Omotto being the controller in chief at Sharks’ midfield while Seda has excelled as the creative conduit in Kimanzi’s Mathare United.
The midfield battle will be between Seda and Omotto on Sunday and whoever wins it will tip the impetus his side’s direction.