Coach Kim Poulsen faces his second test when his side, Taifa Stars, host Gambia “Scorpions” in a World Cup African Zone Group C qualifying match at the National Stadium today.
Kim, who succeeded his name sake and countryman Jan Poulsen last month, is widely expected to post his first win with the team as they play the West African side. The Danish tactician lost 0-2 to Ivory Coast in his first assignment two weeks ago in Abidjan.
The home side is expected to use home ground advantage in its high stakes bid to win the match so that it keeps alive the hope of strong show in the group.
Additionally, the Gambia is seen as the weaker side in the group, also having Morocco apart from the Ivory Coast, and loss at home to the Gambian side would touch a strain of despair about the national side among local fans.
“We have prepared enough to face the visitors and all players are injury free. All we need is the fans to support us,” Poulsen said.
Stars are the only team in the group without a point as Gambia and Morocco have one point each after drawing in the first leg match.
The coach said that he has made a few changes in the defence line up whereby Erasto Nyoni replaces Aggrey Morris who was sent off in the match against Ivory Coast, the other defenders being Kelvin Yondani, Shomari Kapombe and Amir Maftah.
The return of Haruna Moshi 'Boban' who nursed injury for months is expected to improve the striking force. Said Nassor 'Chollo' and Nurdin Bakari are yet to recover.
The visitors’ coach Luciano Mancini boasted to win the game. “It is 90 minutes that will tell; football is always a game of chance,” he said, noting that he came with capable players to beat the home sine.
The visitors’ squad is made up of Musa Camara, Abdou Jammeh, Momodou Futty Danso, Lamin Basmen Samateh, Ousman Koli, Pa Saikou Kujabi, Mustapha Kebba Jarju, Yankuba Mal Ceesay, Demba Savage, Saihou Gassama, Alieu Darboe, Momodou Ceesay and Pa Modou Jagne.
Others are Tijan Jaiteh, Bubacarr Sanyang, Christopher Allen, Musa Yaffa, Sulayman Marr, Mamut Saine, Hamsa Barry, Ali Sowe, Omar Colley and Saloum Faal.