KENYA are expected in Harare today for their World Cup/African Nations Cup qualifier against wounded Zimbabwe at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
The Harambee Stars beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in Nairobi on Saturday. Kenyan media reports this week revealed an upbeat side which has been boosted by the return to fitness of star player Dennis Oliech.
Oliech, of French Ligue 1 side AJ Auxerre, got a knock in the Nairobi leg.
The Kenyans will bring their own cook and foodstuffs for a “regular helping of Kenyan food”.
The Kenyan players have been warned back home of crowd hostility at Rufaro, which is expected to be full to capacity.
“They will be intimidated and especially if the match is played at Rufaro Stadium where fans are closer to the players because it has no running track. But I think we have a good side that appears to be gelling well. With a good strategy they can stun the Warriors,” warned former national team defender Tobias Ocholla in the Daily Nation online.
However, Zifa must tighten venue security after they were lucky to escape Fifa scrutiny for the disorganised handling of the Namibia match two weeks ago.
Impatient and squashed fans in winding queues outside the stadium tried to force their way into the ground due to the slow process at the gates.
There was a very dangerous situation when a wobbly-erected precast wall was felled by jostling fans, miraculously missing people queuing on the VIP entry point side of the “security wall.”
Meanwhile, Warriors coach Valinhos will face his sternest test in charge against the Stars.
The Brazilian could have to ring changes in selection and tactics after cracks emerged in his cautious approach in the last two matches.
By Enock Muchinjo