Barely 36 hours before Harambee Stars host Black Stars of Ghana in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group “F” qualifier at Kasarani Stadium, all eyes are on Kenya coach Sebastian Migne’s tactical approach to the “must win” encounter.
Kenya desperately need a win to rub off the 2-1 loss suffered in the first round match away to Sierra Leone June last year to revive qualification chances for the continental showpiece to be staged in Cameroon next year.
Undoubtedly, the Frenchman is nervous on who to hand a starting berth from the 24 players in camp with regulars led by skipper Victor Wanyama, defender Brian Mandela and winger Ayub Timbe unavailable due to injury and suspensions.
The 45-year-old coach already tipped Patrick Matasi to start in goal in the absence of veteran Boniface Oluoch who did not report to camp due to a shoulder injury.
The former Congo Brazzaville coach revealed he wants to mark his competitive debut as Kenya coach on a sound note ahead of back-to-back games against Ethiopia in October and November.
“It will be a huge task for us to try to win, we know Ghana is better than Kenya but in football nothing is impossible,” he said on Wednesday.
Both Kwesi Appiah, the Ghana coach, and Migne prefer a 4-4-2 formation.
Tactically, Migne is likely to employ two different formations depending on the nature of the game; a 4-4-2 formation when attacking and a 4-3-3 in defending.
Zambia-based Musa Mohammed could partner either David “Cheche” Ochieng’ or David “Calabar” Owino in central defence, while Philemon Otieno and Abud Omar cover the right and left back positions respectively.
Spain-based Ismael Gonzalez and Johanna Omolo will play in central midfield with the latter assuming an attacking role.
Michael Olunga, who has 16 goals in 31 international games, and Ovella Ochieng’ will be the twin strikers upfront, while Eric Johanna and Francis Kahata will be handed free roles out wide to complete a 4-4-2 pattern.