Kenya’s Harambee Stars Tuesday intensified training in preparation for the 2010 World Cup/African Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe Saturday.
Coach Francis Kimanzi, speaking at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, was upbeat Tuesday, expressing confidence the team would post good results in the first leg match.
Kimanzi, a first-timer with the national team, said apart from captain Robert Mambo who is suffering from a bout of malaria, all the other players were in camp.
The national technical bench is monitoring forward Patrick Oboya, who is suffering from a throat infection.
Kimanzi, who replaced interim coach, Jacob Mulee a month ago, described Zimbabwe as a strong team which the Kenyans could not underrate.
But he talked of a “secret weapon” he was planning to unleash on Zimbabwe in the weekend match.
Kenya, who has made five appearances in the Cup of Nations’ finals in the past, are drawn against Namibia, Zimbabwe and Guinea in Group Two of the qualifiers.
The east Africans got off to a false start in the campaign, succumbing 2-1 to Namibia in Windhoek before recovering, to thrash Guinea 2-0 in Nairobi.
Zimbabwe beat Namibia 2-0, while Guinea and Zimbabwe settled for a goalless draw in Conakry.
Zimbabwe is leading the group with four points, followed by Kenya with three, as Namibia, which also has three points, is in third position on account of goal difference. Guinea is at the bottom with one point.
Kimanzi believes Kenya’s preparations are adequate, adding that he was working out a strategy to contain England-based Zimbabwe striker Benjamin Mwaruwari, who plays for Manchester City.
He will also keep tabs on another bigwig, Gerald Mushanghazike.
The Kenyan coach said he would field the same team that thrashed Guinea, which included midfielder MacDonald Mariga who turns out for Italy’s Parma and lethal striker, Dennis Oliech (Auxerre, France). Oliech scored the two goals against Guinea. Panapress .