• Sakari was a surprise call up when coach Francis Kimanzi named his 25-man squad for the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
• The defensive frailties at the right-back have forced coach Kimanzi to try a number of options following Philemon Otieno's long term injury
After landing his maiden call up to the Harambee Stars, Sharks' right-back Daniel Sakari is relishing the opportunity of coming up against dreaded Liverpool winger Mohammed Salah and his Aston Villa counterpart Mahmoud Trezeguet.
Sakari was a surprise call up when coach Francis Kimanzi named his 25-man squad for the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Stars are lined to confront record African champions Egypt and Togo and Sakari can't wait to frustrate the Egyptian duo next week.
Salah, the 2018 BBC African Player of the Year is yet to hit his last season's form, thanks to injuries but he is touted as a major threat to the Stars' defence precisely, the full-backs.
Similarly, Trezeguet who was on target against Liverpool last weekend was in a form of his own during the last edition of the Afcon held in Egypt and subsequently signed for the promoted English side just five days into the competition.
Ahead of the match, Sakari has warned the duo to expect a watertight defence. The local-based players named in the team began training yesterday at the Nyayo Stadium.
“It's a moment I want to fully capitalise on to justify my inclusion in the team. I know the two wingers are arguably the best we have on the continent but it will not be easy. ''Marking' them is a great opportunity in my career and I will look to give my best. I am not afraid of them and they should expect a hard-to-crack defence,” he said.
The defensive frailties at the right-back have forced coach Kimanzi to try a number of options following Philemon Otieno's long term injury.
This time around, the former Mathare United tactician summoned the youthful Sakari to muscle for a starting berth alongside his experienced teammate at Sharks Samuel Olwande.
The latter has played the last two friendly matches against Mozambique and Uganda. Kimanzi opted for the 21-year-old defender for former national U-20 Rising Stars captain Yusuf Mainge who made it to the team that lost 1-0 to Mozambique.
The former Kakamega Homeboyz prodigy, the reigning third best young player of the season, said he is keen to prove that he is ripe for the starting roles against the Pharaohs and the subsequent qualifiers.
“I know there is competition for playing time but I am looking to give the coach a selection headache,” he added.