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Four key players out of Okumbi’s squad for friendly against Mozambique

Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi’s plans for Saturday’s international friendly match against Mozambique have been thrown into disarray after four key players pulled out of the squad for various reasons.

According to the federation, Belgian based playmaker, Ayub Timbe, who plies his trade with Lierse, will play no part in the match as he is ruled out with an injury.

Gor Mahia’s vice-captain, Musa Mohamed, who has of late become an important pillar in Okumbi’s defence, has been given time out to sort out his passport issues and is not available for the game.

Striker Allan Wanga, who recently got call-up to the side after close to a year in the wilderness, has also requested to be omitted from the squad as he attends to personal issues, while pacy winger, Paul Were, who turns out for Acharnaikos in Greece is out due to club commitment. Were is expected to feature on Saturday as his club tackles Trikala in a league match.

ZAMBIAN TRIO

The Zambian based trio of David ‘Calabar’ Owino, Jesse Were and Athony ‘Teddy’ Akumu, who turn ply their trade with Zesco United, will however link up with the team on Thursday.

“The federation got a request from Zesco United imploring us to let the Zesco trio join camp tomorrow (Thursday) as they had a club engagement on Wednesday. As an FA, we have accepted their request,” FKF’s  Communications and Public Relations Manager, Barry Otieno told Daily Nation Sport.

At the same time, skipper Victor Wanyama, who plies his trade in the English Premier League with North London side Tottenham Hotspur, jetted into the county on Tuesday and is due to have an evening session with the team at Kasarani.

Wanyama will lead the team in Saturday’s match against the Mambas and the Tuesday game against Liberia’s Lone Star.

HIGHER RANKING

The Mambas are expected to jet in on Wednesday night aboard a Kenya Airways  flight from Maputo. They are scheduled to have an evening training session at Kasarani on Thursday evening.

At position 85 in the Fifa rankings, Harambee Stars are placed higher that each of their opponents with Mozambique ranked 95 and Liberia placed at position 104.

The home side, who are unbeaten in six games on the bounce, will be out to improve their Fifa rankings by winning the two matches.

Okumbi is likely deploy a blend of youngsters and veterans in Saturday’s game to gauge the progress of the upcoming players.