The 27-year-old defender explains why he feels the Mashemeji derby against rivals Ingwe will be tricky for both sides
Gor Mahia defender Harun Shakava believes the FKF Premier League fixture against AFC Leopards will be difficult to predict the outcome.
The two Kenyan giants will meet for the first time this season at Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday and according to the K’Ogalo captain, it will be one of the trickiest Mashemeji derbies he has ever played in.
‘I don’t know most of those players’
“This is going to be one of the most unpredictable and tricky Mashemeji derbies I ever played,” Shakava said as quoted by Standard Sports.
“It is unpredictable because AFC Leopards have a young team and unknown players. I actually don’t know most of those players, but interestingly they have performed well in their last two matches.
“It’s not going to be a walk in the park. We must remain focused throughout the match.”
‘We lost almost 15 first-team players’
On his part, AFC Leopards team manager Tom Juma, who played for both teams before retiring, said: “We lost almost 15 first-team players. It’s been quite frustrating but we have tried our best to motivate the boys and I’m pretty sure they will be out to prove a point in the derby.
“Of course most of them will make their derby debuts, being a special game for all of us we know the tactics to employ and prepare the boys.
“We might be referred to as underdogs, but I believe the boys can pull an upset.”
Despite losing many players in the current transfer window, AFC Leopards are still unbeaten in the top-flight as they started their campaign with a 1-0 win against champions Tusker before battling to a 0-0 draw against KCB.
On the other hand, Gor Mahia have only played one league match this campaign, a 2-1 win against KCB but they also played in the Caf Confederation Cup where they managed a 3-1 away win against Al-Ahly Merowe of Sudan.
Last season, the two giants met only once in the top-flight – the first round fixture which ended in a 0-0 draw but they boycotted the second round meeting accusing the Football Kenya Federation of delaying to release their FKF Shield Cup winners and runners-up prize money.