In Summary
  • It remains to be seen whether K'Ogalo's coach Hassan Oktay will chalk up his first win in the league when he leads his team to Mombasa
  • Mid-table outfit Mathare United, who have re-signed Kenya international Kevin Kimani, will square it out against Chemelil Sugar at Kasarani
  • Tusker will visit sugar millers Sony in Awendo in another fixture

Football fans across the country will keep an eye on new signings at their favourite clubs as the 2018/2019 SportPesa Premier League season officially kicks off Saturday afternoon with nine matches on the cards this weekend.

It seems it's business as usual at AFC Leopards as new coach Nikola Kavazovic looks certain to miss Saturday's opener against Kariobangi Sharks in Machakos.

In his stead, Leopards organizing secretary Timothy Lilumbi says Nikola's assistant and long-term ally Marko Vasilijevic will hold fort against the high-flying Sharks.

In other stand-out fixtures set for this weekend, it remains to be seen whether K'Ogalo's coach Hassan Oktay will chalk up his first win in the league when he leads his team to Mombasa ahead of a potentially thrilling clash against Bandari.

At the same time, newcomers KCB with Tanzanian international custodian Peter Manyika in tow will be in Western Kenya ahead of a date with Kakamega Homeboyz who have acquired experienced forward Edwin Lavatsa.

Mid-table outfit Mathare United, who have re-signed Kenya international Kevin Kimani, will square it out against Chemelil Sugar at Kasarani.

"We are expecting Marko in the country on Saturday (today) morning," confirmed Lilumbi.

"He will be assisted by Tom Juma and these two will continue preparing the team until we resolve the matter surrounding Nikola. It is a fact that Sharks have improved but they should know we are ready for them."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nikola walked out on Leopards after a disagreement with a section of the club management last weekend, 43 days after assuming the coaching role and before taking charge of a competitive match.

Formerly in charge of Township Rollers in Botswana, the Serbian was yet to return to the country by press time, even as media reports in South Africa continue to link him to the vacant coaching role at Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Free State Stars.

Nikola's shenanigans aside, and keeper Ernest 'Bakame' Ndayishimiye is also set to delay his AFC Leopards competitive debut as the club is yet to receive his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Meanwhile, fresh from mauling Djibouti's Arta Solar 9-1 on aggregate on the continental front, Sharks coach William Muluya is expected to field a strong squad consisting last season's top scorer Eric Kapaito, exciting winger James Mazembe, Sydney Lokale, Duke Abuya and Ugandan target man George Abege.

Gor lost 1-0 to Sharks in the KPL Super Cup last weekend and then suffered a similar defeat at the hands of Malawi's Nyasa Big Bullets in the Caf Champions League in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Good news for Oktay is that he could welcome back Ivorian striker Ephrem Ghuikan who missed the trip to Blantyre as he has not been registered to compete in the Champions League.

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