Kenya’s National team, Harambee Stars, will face Russia in an international friendly encounter at the Mardan Sports Complex in Aksu, Antalya in Turkey on Monday evening. The match comes up at 19:00 East African Time.
Kenya will play no part in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire having been thrown out of the qualifiers owing to a ban. In a statement then, its football association was suspended for “political interference” and were only included in the draw for the qualifiers on the proviso they would be cleared by FIFA to compete. However, they were not cleared and subsequently thrown out without kicking a ball.
Meanwhile, the Harambee Stars come into this friendly match after the shock 1-0 home loss to South Sudan just days after the morale-boosting 2-1 win over Qatar. Goals from defender Joseph Okumu and Amos Nnodi secured the win over Qatar.
On the other hand, Russia are unbeaten this year despite being suspended from international competitions due to the war in Ukraine. The Europeans defeated Cameroon 1-0 last Thursday, meaning Firat’s men have their work cut out.
It could be said that this friendly is somewhat inconsequential but with the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers coming in November, it could mean a lot to the Harambee Stars especially ahead of that time.
The Harambee Stars find themselves in group F with Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Burundi, and Seychelles.
Interested fans who are keen to watch the Harambee Stars v Russia game on Monday can check for the available options in this article.
Harambee Stars v Russia Team News
The Harambee Stars will be without defender Danie Anyembe for their friendly match against Russia while winger Ayub Timbe is doubtful for the clash set to take place in Turkey on Monday.
Anyembe has been impressive in the right-back position in recent matches for Kenya, but could not get early permission from his club to join this group in time for the friendly in Kenya.
The 25-year-old was quite useful in the last couple of Kenya's friendly matches against Qatar and South Sudan in September. Anyembe’s absence means Firat will have to make changes to his squad at the back for the match.
In a related development, Football Kenya Federation also confirmed that Timbe will need to pass a late fitness test before he can be allowed to play.
“Timbe had a swollen ankle in camp, and will wait to pass a late fitness test to determine whether he could make the starting team, or at least the matchday squad,” FKF said on its website.
Harambee Stars vs Russia probable lineups
Goalkeeper: Bryne Odhiambo
Defenders: Erick Otieno, Johnstone Omurwa, Joseph Okumu, David Ochieng
Midfielders: Anthony Akumu, Kenneth Muguna, Richard Odada
Forwards: Masoud Juma Choka, Michael Olunga, Elvis Rupia
Goalkeeper: Matvey Safonov
Defenders: Sergei Volkov, Maksim Osipenko, Aleksandr Soldatenkov, Alexander Silyanov
Midfielders: Dmitri Barinov, Daler Kuzyaev, Daniel Glebov
Forwards: Ivan Oblyakov, Fedor Chalov, Sergey Pinyaev
Where to watch Harambee Stars vs Russia live
The game is not expected to be live on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) channel one. In addition, the options available to those planning to watch the match outside Kenya is quite limited.
Harambee Stars vs Russia Head-to-Head
The two teams have never met before and this will be their first meeting at this level. There will be little or no expectations as per the outcome but the two teams will try to take valuable lessons from here.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago