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KPL Season Betting Tips

Kenyan Premier League 2022/23, Tips and Predictions for each upcoming match. Full information and betting tips for your sports bets.

2022/23 Kenyan Premier League season

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A brief history

The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has over the years gone through a number of identity changes, but it is currently branded as the FKF Premier League (FKF-PL). The FKF PL is the topmost football league in Kenya. The league was formed in the early 60s and had its first season in 1963, under the watch of the now defunct Kenya Football Federation (KFF), which would go on to manage the league for most of the four decades that followed. Unfortunately, the Kenyan football scene has suffered from seemingly endless wrangles occasioned by internal politics that have blown through to the national stage occasioning government interference. Such has time and again invited FIFA’s wrath and the country has had to serve spells under suspension from the world football governing body. There was also a spell inside the last 20 years or so when two different factions claimed to be the bonafide managers of the league and it all ended up in two parallel top leagues being run by the factions. The period between 2006 and 2015 is termed to be the most stable for the Kenyan Premier League. 

Before adopting the current identity as the FKF Premier League, the Kenyan top flight changed identities at least two times. It was first referred to as the Kenya National Football League (KNFL), a name that stayed on from 1963 to 1996. For the subsequent two seasons, it was renamed the Kenya Super League (KSL) then in 1998, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) came to be, an identity the league lived with until 2015, when a regime change at the national football federation saw the league reorganised and renamed the FKF – PL.

Right before the formation of the FKF PL, the league clubs had agreed to the formation of a company to run the league, with permission from the national federation. The key reasoning here was to not only have the clubs run their own affairs, but also have a framework for making demands, fronting their interests and seeking sponsorships and partnerships. This company would be known as the Kenyan Premier League Limited, and it was registered officially in 2003, with the guidance and leadership of Canadian born social worker based in Nairobi, Bob Munro. 

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Some good order and great organisation followed the formation of this company and in 2007, it successfully negotiated for a first ever broadcast deal for the top league in the country. The team led by Munro managed to get South Africa based Pay TV, SuperSport to invest in Kenyan football, a deal that would see each of the league clubs pocket up to USD 70,000, which were paid in form of monthly grants. Many more deals would follow as the league was now getting televised. Alcoholic drinks maker Kenya Breweries came on board as title sponsors through their brand of Tusker and soon after Umbro and Puma followed as kit and merchandise sponsors before the largest betting firm in East Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, SportPesa joined the fray.  

The stability enjoyed by the league would however be rocked when there was a change in the leadership of the national federation. As Nick Mwendwa took over from Sam Nyamweya, he introduced an expanded league from 16 to 18 teams and disregarded all agreements between the league and SuperSport, and the broadcaster, citing breach of contract, walked out. That was just the first of many walkouts; another big investor in SportPesa also followed SuperSport out. The result was clubs ran on empty for a while before the disarray saw them starting to issue walkovers and ended in relegation.

As the 2022/23 season heads towards kick-off, most clubs lack sponsorship and even the league itself hasn’t been able to attract investors in the game, to put in the money. The few sponsors who worked with the federation during the Covid-19 period – BetKing and StarTimes have already left, both citing breaches of their contracts with the federation.

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Format of the KPL

Like in all leagues, the team that finishes top of the standings is crowned champion and gets the automatic slot to play in the CAF Champions League, while the bottom two are automatically relegated and the top two in the second tier, National Super League (NSL) promoted. The third slot in the league is determined by a two-legged playoff pitting the third-place finisher in the NSL and the 16th placed finisher in the Kenyan Premier League.

Each of the 18 teams plays 34 matches and in the case of a tie in the final standings, goal difference, then goals scored and head to head records come to consideration. If there’s still a tie after all these, a playoff match is called to break the tie.

At the close of the 2021/22 campaign three Mathare United and Vihiga Bullets finished in the bottom two slots – the 18th and 17th places respectively, thus losing their places in the league. Wazito FC, the 16th placed finisher was subjected to a two-legged relegation/promotion playoff tie against Muranga Seal and they secured their stay in the topflight with a 3-2 aggregate win. This season, APS Bomet and Fortune Sacco will be the teams joining the KPL from the second tier.

The important dates for the 2022/23 season

September 10, 2022 – kick-off: Gor Mahia versus Ulinzi Stars will be the biggest game in the opening week. Ulinzi Stars has beefed up well in preseason and will be favourites to win this game at Nyayo Stadium. With all the anticipation towards the new season some of the best previews on the KPL can be found on SportyTrader.

November 6, 2022 – Gor Mahia v AFC Leopards; this is regarded the biggest derby in East Africa, because it pits two of the biggest and longest rivalries. The two teams enjoy a massive following in Kenya though the recent financial constraints at the two clubs and the league in general have ensured this game isn’t as glittering as it was before.

May 28, 2023 – Final week of matches: Tusker facing off with Kariobangi Sharks in the last round of matches is expected to be the match to focus on here. This match could determine the league winner if at all the league gets here before a winner is determined. 

KPL’s Most successful teams

Kenya Premier League Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia FC is by a distance the most successful team in the history of Kenyan football, this is despite going without a league title from 1995 all the way to 2013. The 18-year wait however gave rise to a period of dominance where they only missed the 2016 title between 2013 and 2020. Only Tusker has been able to check Gor Mahia’s dominance; the Brewers won the 2016 title and go into this season having won the last two to make it 13 league titles in their history. The third most successful team in KPL history is AFC Leopards, going into next season with 12 league titles in the bag. The last of their league titles however came in 1998.

Champions

Tusker FC are the current champions, after winning their 13th league title in June. 

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Betting on KPL matches: the statistics

Armed with the history and key information about the KPL, the remaining piece before starting to place bets on the KPL matches is the statistics. The form table is the biggest informer on where to stake a bet and the type of bet to stake. To have reliable, and winning bets, it is also key that the forms of players for each team is put in consideration and whether the key players are available, injured or suspended. Our betting experts take their time to analyse the same and break down the information to guide on the best possible winning stakes. For example, high scoring matches are quite rare in the Kenyan Premier League; for example, the champions Tusker scored 42 goals across 34 matches last season, while the highest scoring team was second placed Kakamega Homeboys with 54 goals. The lowest scoring team in the league was Mathare United, with 18 goals. Ulinzi Stars, the only other team to have won a league title in the last 12 years apart from Gor Mahia and Tusker, scored just 21 goals. If one was to bet in the goals market, under 2.5 goals would on most occasions be a winning bet. Last season, only 33.5% of the league matches produced over 2.5 goals and 17.06% yielded over 3.5 goals while only 5.89% produced over 4.5 goals. Meanwhile 80.91% of the league matches saw over 0.5 goals scored and 62.10% had over 1.5 goals scored. On average, the best scoring team, Kakamega Homeboyz had 1.59 goals per game for the season and the poorest, Mathare United had 0.53 per game.

The home and away form is also a crucial aspect in determining what bets to place, and with most teams without regular home grounds, the few that have, are always enjoying better runs at home. For example, Tusker, Kakamega Homeboyz and Bandari have their official home bases and it is little wonder that they finished in that order last season and most of their points were won at home. Of Tusker FC’s 66 points that won them the league, 35 were banked in home matches at the Ruaraka Stadium while they scored 25 of their 42 goals in home matches. Further down in the standings, the team that finished bottom, Mathare United had no regular home ground, and as a result registered no points at all in their home matches.

One of the most important games in the KPL season is the match pitting Gor Mahia, the record champions, and Ulinzi Stars FC, four time champions. KPL fans will be fortunate to have this game in the opening week of matches, and this one generates a lot of interest because of the fan bases, Ulinzi Stars being a military team and Gor Mahia the most followed civilian side. In most of the recent meetings, this game has gone in Gor Mahia’s favour but rarely does it produce more than a goal. In fact, in the last five meetings, only one has seen over 2.5 goals scored, and Gor Mahia have managed three clean sheets. That there is already a top tip on betting in this game.

Kenya Premier League AFC Leopards

There are various avenues to bet on in the KPL. The number of goals scored and frequency of the same can be a very interesting avenue. Statistics show that more than half of the teams in the league struggle to keep clean sheets. It means even though the matches aren’t really high scoring, they regularly yield goals. For example, last season, only Tusker FC, the champions, managed clean sheets in more than half of the 34 matches. Their total clean sheets were 19, followed by Ulinzi Stars with 16. However, Tusker FC failed to score in 11 of their matches while Ulinzi Stars failed to score in 14. The team that failed to score in most of their matches (20), Vihiga Bullet, was eventually relegated. 

There are many more options for betting in the league including who will be the champions, the top scorers at the end of the season, who gets relegated or ends up in the playoffs and more. Our experienced team of betting experts are always on hand with the analysis and selection of the highest paying markets and bookies with the least possible risk. For example, Tusker FC will be an easy choice for the team to win a third straight league title, the reason being their stability and the fact that the club keeps on strengthening the playing unit, plus the fact that they have their own home ground.

AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia will for example be disadvantaged in their chase for the title, fuelled by the fact that these two are serving transfer bans and thus can only rely on their almost non existent youth systems. Such an issue not only determines whether or not these two giants can win the league title but also the motivation in going for wins game after game. 

Top players to bet on

Patrick Matasi won his first ever KPL title with Tusker in the Brewers’ triumph last season. This was not just a milestone that stopped there; he was also the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets as he helped the team win the title. The remarkable nature of this win is that his performance came right after he was involved in a road accident. Matasi has however been rumoured to be on his way to big spenders Police FC. Wherever he has been, Matasi had outstanding numbers at Tusker and he can be a good pick for keeping clean sheets when his team plays. 

Boniface Muchiri, who helped Tusker to win the league title is off and has been confirmed at Ulinzi Stars, who are looking to boost their attack. The winger was one of the top performers last season and has settled in well at Ulinzi Stars. He is among the players expected to light up the season and if you are seeking a bet on who will be the top scorer for the team, Muchiri is a good pick.

Erick Mmata will also be a good bet for top scorer this season. He joined Tusker FC after being involved in 21 goals last season while at Kariobangi Sharks. The attacking midfielder scored 11 and assisted 10 before packing his bags and is expected to light up the Kenyan topflight.

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