Gor Mahia host Egyptian side Zamalek SC in the biggest club football match that Kenya will host in 2019 on Sunday, 2nd February 2019 at 4 pm in Kasarani Stadium. Gor Mahia, who is also in the same group as Angolan side Petro Atletico and Algerians Hussein Dey, are unbeaten this season at Kasarani in CAF competitions. They will know that a strong performance at home is key if they are to progress to the quarters of the tournament.
A match against the best side in the group this early can be seen as a free hit, Gor will know that more winnable ties against Hussein Dey and Petro Atletico lie in future. Thus, Gor should have nothing to fear in a match most will expect it to lose.
Gor Mahia in indifferent form this season so far
Gor Mahia has had an indifferent start to the season, having been knocked out of the CAF Champions League preliminary rounds, and falling to the second level CAF confederations cup tournament where they fought to the group stages after a 2-1 aggregate win over the Cameroonian side New Stars de Duala.
In addition, Gor Mahia exited the sportpesa cup last week in Tanzania that they were defending with an embarrassing first-round loss on post-match penalties to Mbao FC. They have already lost three matches in the KPL season, most alarmingly to lowly ranked KCB last weekend.
However, a 2-0 win over Sony sugar on Wednesday 30th January sees them come into this match with good morale, and boisterous home support which is expected to be quite substantial could help them achieve an unlikely result.
Zamalek the favourites
Zamalek is the second largest club side in Egypt, and have been hugely successful in the CAF organized tournaments. Seated comfortably first in the Egyptian premier league, Zamalek istop in their domestic League , and come into this encounter after a breezy 4-1 win against Misr El-Maqasa.
Zamalek’s squad is full of internationals of pedigree, but two names stand out for me in their squad; Morocco’s Khalid Boutaib and Egyptian international Tarek Mohamed. Boutaib was recently acquired from Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor and has settled in well with the squad, while Tarek is a feisty defensive midfielder who was one of the few Egyptians to emerge from the FIFA World Cup 2018 with credit.
Gor Mahia come into this match with their fans low on confidence and expectations, but given the hype generated by this fixture, I expect a healthy turnout at Kasarani on Sunday 2nd February. Zamalek come into this encounter in great form, and will know that a win is possible, although not strictly necessary. I expect a cagey affair that Zamalek look to edge out by a single goal.
prediction: Gor Mahia 1-2 Zamalek