Harambee Stars journey to the 2022 Wolrd Cup continues today with a match against Mali in Morocco.
In what will be coach Engig Firat’s first game in charge of the team, everyone has been kept guessing as to who he will parade in the tie with some new faces having been included in the team.
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Our very own Kelvin Kiplimo hints at what he thinks will be the prefered Starting team for Firat later this evening.
Ian Otieno. After an impressive outing with Zesco United in Zambia, the former AFC Leopards custodian is certain to start between the goalposts ahead of Brian Bwire and Faruk Shikalo who are still finding their feet at their new clubs.
Daniel Sakari: The Tusker FC man is currently the best right-back we have in the country. It is a position that Stars have been short in and Firat is expected to maintain him after his impressive displays against Uganda and Rwanda.
Abud Omar: Due to his experience, Omar is expected to slot at left-back after being left out in the previous engagements.
Joseph Okumu: He has been a key player for the national team since the 2019 AFCON. His place is more than assured than the other defender owing to is experience in Europe and how he has always slotted calmly with however he has been given to partner at center back.
Joash Onyango: While Eugene Asike has a shout, the output of Onyango cant be matched by the other central defender. His fitness has been questioned heading into the game but after training with the rest of the team since they arrived in Morocco, he might be the man tasked with partnering Okumu.
Richard Odada: With the retirement of Victor Wanyama, Odada is expected to continue with his defensive mid-role. He gave a man-of-the-match performance in our match against Uganda and didn’t look out of place when Rwanda came calling.
Abdallah Hassan: Firat will need to inject speed in his attack and Hassan might be the player to provide that. He had two goals under his name during the AFCON qualifiers under Ghost Mulee and has always been thrown in the team when Kenya needs a goal.
Kenneth Muguna: The Azam FC player has partnered Odada in the first two qualifiers we have played in thus far. He is the one expected to be the creative force in the midfield if Kenya is to unlock the Mali rearguard.
Michael Olunga: The national team captain will definitely start in the tie. After a short layoff with an injury, he scored five goals for his club last week and will hope to continue with the same streak in this tie. He scored Kenya’s goal in our last tie against Rwanda so he is expected to be tightly marked by the West Africans.
Phillip Mayaka: While names have been thrown around, USA-based Mayaka might be handed his debut in the Mali game. Coach Firat has praised the player in his interviews and if Kenya is to go all out against Mali, he might as well be the guy to throw in since not many know his potential; this might be a secret weapon for the Kenyans.
Erick Ouma: Naturally a left back, Ouma might start on the left wing to compliment Abud Omar and prevent the hosts’ winger Djenepo from giving our rearguard a tough game. His overlapping nature and output is something that will be needed in the match.
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