It is the first ever meeting between the two sides in any competition. Gor Mahia was relegated to Caf Confederation Cup after they were eliminated in the second round of Caf Champions League by Tunisian giants Esperance.
The Kenyan champions are aiming at making things right in this competition after that narrow 1-0 aggregate defeat in Tunis. K’Ogalo conceded just two goals in the four matches played in the Champions League, and in twelve competitive matches, they have leaked just five times.
SuperSport United performed so well in this competition last season, but narrowly failed in the last hurdle to eventual winners TP Mazembe on a 2-1 aggregate score. The Matsatsantsa have however, failed to replicate last season’s success especially in the Absa Premier League.
After 25 matches, the team is placed in the fourteenth position with 27 points and to make matters worse, they have been doing badly in front of goal considering the fact that they have scored 20 goals in those matches and conceded seven more.
However, Gor Mahia coach coach Dylan Kerr is not amused by those starts. “Yes, they are doing badly in their league but that does not mean we should underrate them. They are wounded and that makes them even more dangerous. We should not take them lightly,” the Briton told Goal.
His opposite number Kaitano Tembo is also targeting a positive result despite selecting a seemingly weakened squad for the trip to Kenya.
“I I can’t predict the outcome of the game but one thing I can promise is that we shall give the fans a good game. Many of our key players are injured and I have rested some of them because we also have the second leg to think about.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Gor Mahia: Haron Shakava: Shakava has captained K’Ogalo in twelve competitive matches this season and he has won eight, drawn three and lost one. He will be aiming at getting his ninth win of the season against SuperSport United, and lead the team to the Group stages for the first time in history. Everyone will be looking at him for leadership and the skipper should ensure he does that.
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Meddie Kagere: You cannot talk of Gor Mahia’s recent success and miss the name Kagere. He is the heartbeat of the team especially in the attacking department. He has to ensure he helps the team get a convincing result from the first leg. He was a thorn against Esperance in both ties despite not scoring, and he has to improve on that on Sunday.
SuperSport United: Eyes will be on youngster striker Aubrey Modiba. The 22-year old has so far scored six goals for the club making him the top scorer. But he will have to deal with the mean K’Ogalo defense. Skipper Dean Furman will be aiming at stopping Gor Mahia from building their game in the midfield.
PROBABLE LINE-UP: Gor Mahia: Boniface Oluoch, Joachim Oluoch, Wesley Onguso, Harun Shakava, Joash Onyango, Earnest Wendo, Philemon Otieno, Francis Kahata, George Odhiambo, Meddie Kagere and Jacques Tuyisenge