Preview: Kenya vs. Pakistan

Preview: Kenya vs. Pakistan

Kenya get their 2023 Four Nations Cup campaign underway when they go head to head with Pakistan at the National Sports Complex on Wednesday.

The Pak Shaheen set out to end their seven-match losing streak as they continue ramping up preparations for the upcoming SAFF Championship later this month.

After a 16-month absence, the Kenyan national team returned to action on March 28, when they suffered a 2-1 friendly defeat against Iran at the Azadi Stadium.

Al Duhail forward Michael Olunga put Engin Firat’s side ahead in the 51st minute, but Mohammad Mohebi and Ramin Rezaeian scored in an eight-minute spell to turn the game on its head.

Prior to that, Kenya picked up a 2-1 victory over Rwanda in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in November 2021 courtesy of goals from Olunga and Philadelphia Union midfielder Richard Odada.

The Harambee Stars head into Wednesday’s game winless in six of their last seven matches across all competitions, losing three and picking up three draws since March 2021.

However, Kenya, who are currently 102nd in the latest FIFA World Rankings, have won three of their last four international friendlies, edging out Zambia, South Sudan and Tanzania since 2019.

Pakistan, on the other hand, were denied a dream start to their 2023 Four Nations Cup campaign as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of host nation Mauritius on Sunday.

Following a goalless first half, goals from Jeremy Villeneuve, Ashley Nazira and a 71st-minute own goal from Mamoon Mossa Khan helped Mauritius pick up a comfortable victory.

Pakistan have now lost each of their last seven matches across all competitions, a run dating back to September 2018, when they were beaten 3-1 by India in the SAFF Championship semi-finals.

The Pak Shaheen’s last win came in the group stages of the 2018 SAFF Championship, when they thrashed Bhutan 3-0 courtesy of goals from Muhammad Riaz, Hassan Bashir and Faheem Ahmed.

Shahzad Anwar’s side wrap up the Four Nations Cup with a clash against Djibouti on Saturday before taking on India in their 2023 SAFF Championship group opener on June 21.

Kenya friendly form:

Kenya form (all competitions):

Pakistan friendly form:

Pakistan form (all competitions):

We say: Kenya 2-1 Pakistan
While Kenya have not been in action since March, they will fancy their chances against a Pakistan side who have lost their last seven matches. We predict that Kenya will claim a narrow victory and leave Anwar’s side empty handed once again.

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