Nairobi City Stars coach Sanjin Alagic is disappointed he will miss the services of club top scorer Peter “Pinchez” Opiyo against league leaders Tusker in their next BetKing Premier League fixture on March 20.
The evergreen Opiyo has accumulated five yellow cards, the latest coming in their slim 1-0 loss to AFC Leopards on March 6.
He will therefore not feature for ‘Simba wa Nairobi’ when the league resumes after Harambee Stars friendlies against South Sudan and Tanzania.
The midfielder has been very instrumental in City Stars’ current campaign netting four times for the league returnees.
“Absence of Pinchez in the match against Tusker, the leading team in table, it’s big blow for us, because he’s such a important player in our team. When you play against the best teams in the league definitely you need all your best players in the squad.
“But I don’t want to whine about that, we will try to prepare ourselves in the best possible way and get ready for the match to achieve a positive result,” said Alagic.
Commenting on the issue, Opiyo said he wasn’t expecting to get the card (against AFC Leopards) but expressed confidence that the squad has good players who can upset Tusker.
“That card really disturbed me. I didn’t expect to get one but hey, that’s the nature of the game. You have to be prepared to miss some matches,” said Opiyo.
Opiyo has clocked 90 minutes in all 15 games this season and has emerged as City Stars man of the match in four games against Wazito, KCB, Ulinzi Stars and Kakamega Homeboyz.
He scored in three straight games in January against Wazito, Posta Rangers and Ulinzi Stars, then added a fourth against Western Stima in March.
City Stars are ninth on the log with 19 points from 15 games same as defending champions Gor Mahia who have two games in hand and a superior goal difference.