Prediction: How Harambee Stars will line up against South Sudan
The national team gears up for the crucial Afcon qualifiers with three friendly matches against South Sudan and Tanzania starting this Saturday
It’s only one day before our beloved Harambee Stars take to the pitch once more in three home friendlies before welcoming Egypt then travelling away to Togo in crucial Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers. Ahead of those tough assignments, I predicted my starting eleven in the friendly match against South Sudan on Saturday. Here goes nothing.
Coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee kicks off early preps for Harambee Stars’ 2022 AFCON Qualifiers.
— Harambee Stars (@harambee__stars) February 5, 2021
1. James Saruni
Getting here was a very tough choice, but merit wise (pun intended) there’s probably no one better suited, currently, than him in between the sticks. He captains an Ulinzi Stars side that has managed to keep a league high eight clean sheets in fifteen games. Favourite Brian Bwire has fallen out of favour at Kariobangi Sharks and has not featured in the last four games. Considering we will be playing against South Sudan, why not?
2. Daniel Sakari
The marauding right back edges the contest over Baraka Badi owing to his decision making skills in the final third and his never ending energetic displays up and down the right channel. Should make the most out of the opportunity should he get one. Badi, on the other hand, would pretty much want to redeem himself following his first time struggles in the tie against Comoros.
????| Daniel Sakari is not your normal wingback
????| How do you think this season will turn up for the lad?#WeAreSharks#betwaykenya pic.twitter.com/zBIcFPUlRq
— Kariobangi Sharks FC (@k_sharksfc) January 11, 2021
3. David Owino
‘Messi’. You only need to watch his previous game against Gor Mahia to get a feel of what the ambidextrous player has to offer. Shifted to left, Messi has the ability to single handedly change the game with his creative nous. His ability to always add an extra threat from defense with his runs all over the pitch adds to his appeal.
4. Johnstone Omurwa
Solid rock stone. Tough tackling John. No nonsense Omurwa. That’s all you need to know. Apart from his occasional screams at the backline, the tall Wazito defender has formed a resolute partnership with Bernard Ochieng’ this season. Looks solid at the heart of defense and his height gives him an added advantage.
5. Michael Kibwage
No lie, this was extremely tough. A gamble you may call it. But the Sofapaka captain looks more like a calming presence at the back and a natural leader to help organize the team.
6. Michael Mutinda
Ah! No doubts about this workaholic whatsoever. Mutish provides that crucial and delicate balance needed between attack and defense. And he does it so well. Probably the only reprieve to Fidel Origa who didn’t receive a much deserved call up to the national side.
7. Abdallah Hassan
Hassan makes football look so easy on the eye. A faint here, a touch there or a beautiful through pass that find his teammates on the pitch. His only undoing is his Ozil-esque body language, but there’s no denying the vast potential that lies in that physique.
8. Lawrence Juma
Has been a revelation this season. Seems to be enjoying his freer role since joining Sofapaka. Would lighten the load on both Mutinda and Muguna with his defensive and creative abilities.
9. Eric Kapaito
If form counts or doesn’t count for anything in football, I’d still give him the chance to lead the line. There’s no denying what he can with the ball at his feet as he proved back in 2018 and is continuing to do this season. It’s his positioning for me.
????| This is how the goal scorer’s chart looks like so far.#WeAreSharks#BetwayKenya pic.twitter.com/v8IJMihsjn
— Kariobangi Sharks FC (@k_sharksfc) March 3, 2021
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10. Kenneth Muguna
The creative brainchild. Has often been overlooked but has made true the saying ‘work hard in silence, let success make the noise.’ Despite suffering a difficult period at club level, Muguna has always outdone himself with his vision in the middle of the park. Has the insane ability of locating you with his passes. Another footballer who also makes football look so easy on the eye.
Another monthly reminder that Kenneth Muguna is currently the best midfielder in the 254.
Any contrary opinion should be directed to your agemates. #FKFPL pic.twitter.com/36H4E77ia1
— Zachary Oguda (@zaxoguda) February 1, 2021
11. James Mazembe
A total revelation. Mazembe is truly coming of age and is enjoying a breakthrough campaign with a league leading seven assists this season. Just has this surreal ability of taking on any man and beating him with his quick feet, skills and trickery down the left hand side. Link up play and rotation between him and ‘Messi’ down the left would really slap