Harambee Stars coach Paul Put has singled out Rwanda and Libya as Kenya’s main competitors in Group “A” of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
This eagerly anticipated football extravaganza involving nine nations from the region and guest side Libya kicks off on Sunday, with hosts Kenya tackling Rwanda at the refurbished Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega from 2pm.
Tanzania will host Libya in the group’s other opening game at the Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on the same day.?
Zanzibar are the other side in Kenya’s pool.
Group “B” has four teams, namely, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi and South Sudan, following the withdrawal of Zimbabwe.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals.
All matches will be broadcast live on Azam TV and Kenya’s national broadcaster KBC.
Addressing journalists Thursday during a Kenya training session at Utalii Sports Club in Nairobi, Put,?who’s been in charge for only four days, expressed satisfaction with the preparations,?saying he had already noted improvements from the players.?
“Everything’s possible in football. We want to make Kenyans happy,” the coach declared, in response to an earlier declaration by Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa that he was expecting nothing short of victory for Kenya.
Added Put: “I can feel these players want something and we have set targets for every training session.”
“Rwanda have shown their quality to qualify for Chan. They will give us a good run. Libya will come with a good formation. I know most of their players very well. I saw them at Al-Ahli in the (Caf) Champions League when they faced my team (USM Algiers).”
At the same time, Ulinzi’s Stephen Waruru was dropped from Put’s final 20-man squad .
The strike force will, as expected, include 2017 SportPesa Premier League top scorer Masoud Juma, proven goal getter Kepha Aswani, speedy dribbler George “Blackberry” Odhiambo and up and coming AFC Leopards jewel Vincent Oburu.
Also dropped from the team are Harun Shakava injured and Omar Mbongi, who is unwell.
Harambee Stars Cecafa squad:
Goalkeepers - Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Gabriel Andika (AFC Leopards), Patrik Matasi (Posta Rangers)
Defenders - Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Charles Momanyi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Dennis Shikayi (AFC Leopards), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Wellington Ochieng (Gor Mahia), Bernard Ochieng (Vihiga United).
Midfielders - Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Whyvonne Isuza (AFC Leopards), Patillah Omotto (Kariobangi Sharks), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Ovellah Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks), Said Tsuma (Thika United), Chrispin Ochieng (Mathare United).
Strikers -?Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt), George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Masoud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Vincent Oburu (AFC Leopards)