Sheger Derby, inarguably, is the biggest clash of the two cross city rivals in Ethiopia. The tie often attarcts a large crowd. Record Ethiopian champions Kidus Giorgis host bitter rivals Ethiopia Bunna later today, April 15, in the Ethiopian Premier League Week 23 tie in Addis Ababa Stadium.
Both sides have spent a mixed season with the Horsemen cursing to the CAF Champions League group stages for the first time ever while Ethiopia Bunna stared off the season with a poor form. However, both sides were not consistent in recent games. Ethiopia Bunna has lost two of their last three league outings while Kidus Giorgis has only won one game in their last three league games. But still both arch rivals are in contention for a league title.
Kidus Giorgis head trainer Mart Nooji told Soccer Ethiopia that his charges took a two days resting before hitting the training ground for the crucial Saturday tie. “Sodo for us is one of the farthest positions in away game. Hence, we took more or less two days resting. I think the preparation has been smooth. At the moment we have 24 ready players for the derby,” said the ex Taifa Stars coach.
Kidus Giorgis’s Ugandan goalie Robert Odongkara suggested losing twice in the league to Ethiopia Bunna would be disappointing. Our preparation has been very good right from the start of the week. The boys are motivated and we don’t have very serious injury. As you know Ethiopia Bunna beat us in the first round so we have to rectify our mistakes. I think this time around we have to get a positive result because it will be very embarrassing for our fans and we as a club to lose to Ethiopia Bunna in two rounds. If we win we will have a high chance of stretching the lead so we just need to work hard as a team and get a positive result.”
Ethiopia Bunna has been very inconsistent lately. The Addis outfit hammered Wolaitta Dicha 3-0 but lost 3-1 to the then relegation threatened Dire Dawa Ketema 3-1. Team coach Gezaghen Ketema on his part stated his charges did the usual training routine ahead of the derby. “The derby is a part of the league season. So since it is a scheduled thing, we can’t plan a different thing. What makes the occasion different is that two of biggest clubs clash.” Gezaghen added his side will have to cope without the suspended Gatoch Panom and the injured Elias Mamo. “Since both are senior players so it has an effect in some extent. However, we believe the young players in the squad can do even better because we have won some games even without having both Gatoch and Elias. There are players who can do better so we will try to do good with the players we have.”
Nigerian Ethiopia Bunna’s forward Samuel Sanumi has bagged 6 goals this season. The former Electric and Dedebit player hopes he can add more when the Sheger Derby kicks off. “Actually I know the pattern of Kidus Giorgis’s game. They are a team who can play counter football. I will bring my head down and have to do my job. That’s the most important thing. I don’t have to look left, right, the crowd or the referee. My only plan is to go out there and put the ball at the back of the net.”
As Bunna misses the service of Gatoch and Elias, Kidus Giorgis on the other hand will be without winger Behailu Assefa, who sustained a leg injury. Ethiopia Bunna are unbeaten in their last three league derbies to their cross city rivals. Ethiopia Bunna beat Kidus Giorgis 1-0 in the first round thanks to Eko Fevor’s 26th minute header