Stars will thrash guinea Bissau – History say

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Guinea Bissau
Harembe stars players during last year's CECAFA

Harambee Stars foreign soccer giants have continued to trickle in Guinea Bissau in bits ahead of the Wednesday 23 AFCON 2017 qualifier kick off match against the host nation.

Stars held their first session yesterday, Monday in Bissau with only Michael Olunga present among the first to arrive in Bissau.

The Norwegian based star has so far been joined by Belgium-based Johanna Tosh Omolo and first choice keeper Arnold Origi who landed on Tuesday morning as confirmed by the federation.

Skipper Victor Wanyama who was scheduled to land in Bissau on Tuesday morning from Europe was forced to endure a delay that occasioned his missing the Bissau-bound flight from Morocco.

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Victor Wanyama

Wanyama is however expected to join the team on Wednesday morning from Dakar Senegal barely few hours before the 1850 hours kick off time.

Four other foreign players: Zesco trio of Jesse Were, David Owino and Anthony Akumu and South African based Brian Mandela are also expected to join the team before the action date.

Their arrival will see Stanley Okumbi’s 20 man contingent hit quorum ahead of the crucial qualifier.

Harambee Stars is scheduled to play against Guinea Bissau in the 2017 AFCON qualifier’s first leg on Wednesday 23 March before hosting the African wild dog in a return leg encounter slated for Sunday 27 March in Nairobi.

The following is the full Stars squad:

Goalkeepers: Arnold Origi (Lillestrom, Norway), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia)

Defenders: Dennis Odhiambo (Thika United), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars), David Owino (Zesco United), James Situma (Tusker FC), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United)

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Southampton FC), Johannah Omollo (Antwerp), Patillah Omotto (Kariobangi Sharks), Johannah Erick (Mathare United), Clifton Miheso (AFC Leopards), Anthony Kimani, David Kingatua (Bandari FC), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United).

Strikers: Michael Olunga (IF Djugardens), Timothy Otieno (Posta Rangers), Jesse Were (Zesco United), Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks)

Prior to the match, the two nations have only met twice in AFCON qualifiers with Guinea Bissau winning the first meeting by a solitary goal on 4th September 2010 and on return, Harambee Stars registered a 2 – 1 win on 3rd September 2011.

Wednesday match will be the third meeting between the two sides in an AFCON qualifier.

Both countries share one thing in common – local coaches at the helm. Kenya has 35-year-old Stanley Okumbi who took charge after Scotsman Bobby Williamson was requested by the new Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to step aside.

On the other side, Guinea Bissau recently appointed 68-year-old Baciro Cande to replace Portuguese Paulo Torres.

Torres was slapped with a ban by CAF in late last year after being found guilty of using offensive language and insults towards referee Hélder Martins de Carvalho of Angola during a first round game against Zambia in Lusaka.

Both Okumbi and Cande will be on the touchline for their first ever time since being charged with the mantle to lead the national teams for the 2017 showpiece.

Kenya has an advantage in the match if FIFA rankings were anything to go by as it sits in 103rd position on the globe while their Wednesday opponents are 147th in the world.

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Harembe stars players during last year’s CECAFA

On the continent, Kenya is 27th on 331 points while Bissau is 45th with 207 points.

In the last assignment, Kenya lost 0 – 2 to Cape Verde in a 2018 World Cup qualifier  while Guinea Bissau went down 1 – 3 to Liberia in a similar assignment in November 2015.

None of the teams have pitched camp in a foreign land prior to the match as they both preferred to train on home soil.

England based Victor Mugubi Wanyama will lead the team while Bissau has France based Here Bucundji who turns out for French lower tier side Paris FC.

Majority of Bissau players ply their trade in Portugal and France unlike Kenya where eight of the 22 players are playing abroad.

Kenya held Congo to a one-all draw in Brazzaville while Guinea Bissau and Zambia settled for a goalless draw in the first match.

In the second attempt, Kenya lost 1 – 2 to Zambia at home as Bissau was handed a 4 – 2 beating from Congo.