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WCQ: Predicting Harambee Stars’ starting XI vs Burundi

Friday, June 7th, 2024 09:49 | By
Harambee Stars training in Lilongwe, Malawi. PHOTO/@Harambee__Stars/X
Harambee Stars training in Lilongwe, Malawi. PHOTO/@Harambee__Stars/X

Harambee Stars will face Burundi in a 2026 World Cup qualifier on Friday evening, and fans will be waiting to see how head coach Engin Firat lines up his team.

The coach is expected to maintain the majority of his players who delivered a 5-0 victory over the Seychelles in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, during the last qualifier.

In the Seychelles game, two changes were made, with Eric Johanna and Eric Ouma coming in place of Kenneth Muguna and Abud Omar.

Against Burundi, however, Johanna will not be available, and the fans will be keen to see whether Clifton Miheso will consequently be given a starting slot. The AFC Leopards forward was a late inclusion in the Harambee Stars set-up after Johanna failed to turn up.

Harambee Stars in a training session with head coach Engin Firat.
Harambee Stars in a training session with head coach Engin Firat. PHOTO/(@Harambee__Stars)/X

Meanwhile, Patrick Matasi is expected to be preferred again in goal ahead of his rivals, Bryne Omondi and Ian Otieno. Should the Police FC custodian keep his place, he is expected to perform far better and even keep a second consecutive clean sheet after doing so against Seychelles.

A change could be seen in the defence given the injury cases that have depleted the options in the department. Johnstone Omurwa is expected to keep his place and could be lined up with Collins Sichenje, a dependable utility player.

Daniel Anyembe and Aboud Omar are top options for Firat to be deployed as fullbacks.

Richard Odada is expected to keep his place as a deep-lying midfielder, and given the stakes the game carries, Firat is understood to be eager to deploy more attacking firepower from the midfield.

Given that, Kenneth Muguna, Duke Abuya, and Miheso could earn starting berths against Burundi.

Michael Olunga has established himself as an undroppable figure for Harambee Stars and thus is expected to lead the goal-hunting mission, as he also keeps the armband.

Olunga could have John Avire as a supporting cast member operating close to him in the game.

Predicted XI

Patrick Matasi, Johnstone Omurwa, Collins Sichenje, Daniel Anyembe, Aboud Omar, Richard Odada, Kenneth Muguna, Clifton Miheso, Duke Abuya, John Avire, Michael Olunga.

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