Rayon Sports Vs Kirehe FC 3:30p.m
Amagaju Vs Mukura
Marines Vs Espoir
SunriseFC Vs Etincelles
Musanze Vs Police FC 3:30p.m
Miroplast Vs Bugesera
AS Kigali Vs Gicumbi FC
Third-placed Amagaju FC today host Mukura Victory Sports, who are 9th on the Azam Rwanda Premier League table, in the Southern Province derby on match-day four of the new season at Nyagisenyi ground in Nyamagabe District.
Both teams will be seeking to return to winning ways after dropping points in their last outings. Amagaju were thrashed 4-1 by Police FC, while Mukura drew 1-1 against Etincelles.
Mukura will go into the game without several of their key players including Burundian forward Gael Duhayindavyi (knee injury) and team captain Cyiza Hussein, who has not trained the whole week due to a hamstring injury.
The other sidelined players with long-term injuries are Fabien Twagirayezu (ankle), Ibrahim Nshimiyimana (knee), and Jean Baptiste Kimanuka (thigh).
However, head coach Francis Haringingo will be hoping to have forward Baziri Hantungimana back in the team after recovering from a knee injury.
“We are missing some of our key players but I feel we have enough quality in the side to get the three points. Amagaju are a good team with good players and we know that we have to play really well to get a win,” Haringingo told Saturday Sport on Friday.
Mukura started the season with a 1-0 victory away to Kirehe FC but went on to lose against Police on match-day 2-1 before drawing 1-1 against Etincelles, while Amagaju are in third place with six points, one point behind leaders APR, who were due to face SC Kiyovu on Friday.
Pablo Nduwimana’s team won their first two games against Bugesera and Kirehe before succumbing to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of second-placed Police FC last weekend.
"We have prepared for the game in the best way possible because we want to get all points against Mukura,” Nduwimana said. “We know it will be a difficult match because it’s a derby.”
The Burundian tactician added, “We don't have any injury worries and the mood in the squad is conducive. We will give it our all and try to win”.
“I’m confident in my boys' ability to stand up to the challenge. We have done our job to make sure the team is in the best possible shape, physically and mentally," he added.
It will be a huge test for both teams in terms of their targets for a season that is proving to be unpredictable even as it’s still too early to predict how it might end.
Last season, Mukura did a league double over their rivals but Amagaju went on to finish in the tenth place with 33 points, two places and one point ahead of Mukura.
Mukura struggled last season as they found themselves battling relegation.
Haringingo reflected on the past season, thus: “We don’t want to dwell so much on what happened last season, it is in the past, but yes we can use it a lesson for everyone to improve this term. It’s going to be a long and tough season, so we have to keep challenging the players to put in their best effort; it's my responsibility to make sure we win more games than we lose.”
Elsewhere, defending champions Rayon Sports, in seventh on the table with four points, take on Kirehe at Kigali Stadium.
Head coach Olivier Karekezi will not be on the bench after he was sent off in the 1-0 loss to Bugesera FC last weekend.
Marines FC, who have four points from three games, will host Espoir FC, who have collected two points in last three games, at Umuganda Stadium, while Sunrise FC will be at home to Etincelles.
On Sunday, Musanze FC, who have three points from three games, will host high-flying Police FC at Ubworoherane Stadium.
Newly promoted Miroplast FC, buoyed by their 2-1 win over SC Kiyovu, their first in topflight football, face Bugesera FC at Mironko stadium, while AS Kigali, who have won once in the last three attempts, will take on fourth-placed Gicumbi FC at Kigali Stadium.
Isaie Songa Police FC 4
Gentil Salita Kambale Etincelles 2
Benjamin Tuyishime Marines 2
Amani Mugisho Amagaju 2
Rashid Mutebi Mukura 2
Innocent Ndizeye Amagaju 2
Team PD W D L Pts
APR FC 3 2 1 0 7
Police FC 3 2 0 1 6
Amagaju 3 2 0 1 6
Gicumbi 3 2 0 1 6
Etincelles 3 1 2 0 5
AS Kigali 3 1 1 1 4
Rayon 3 1 1 1 4
Marines 3 1 1 1 4
Mukura 3 1 1 1 4
Sunrise 3 1 1 1 4
Musanze 3 1 0 2 3
Miroplas 3 1 0 2 3
Kiyovu 3 1 0 2 3
Kirehe 3 1 0 2 3
Bugesera 3 1 0 2 3
Espoir 3 0 2 1 2