Bosso’s Kutsanzira returns for crunch Caps clash
HIGHLANDERS’ midfielder Rahman Kutsanzira has recovered just in time for the crunch Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie against Caps United at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
An injury picked during Highlanders’ 2-0 win over How Mine last month has seen the speedy winger missing six matches.
Bosso coach Erol Akbay said Kutsanzira who was enjoying good form before the injury, is in line for a starting place against Caps United in a match dubbed “Battle of the Cities Part Two”.
“Rahman has been training with the rest of the team and he looks strong. He will definitely travel with us for the game and it’s good to have a player like him coming back as it gives us options especially when you’ve close to half of the regulars missing. Benson Phiri and Honest Moyo are still out with injuries and we will not have Bruce Kangwa who is still in Tanzania,” said Akbay.
The Highlanders coach is also hoping that midfielder Allen Gahadzikwa who joins Bosso from Caps United gets his licence on time to face his former paymasters.
By yesterday afternoon, Bosso manager Vezigama Dlodlo was making frantic efforts to have Gahadzikwa registered.
Highlanders beat Caps United 1-0 a fortnight ago, courtesy of a Kangwa strike. Tomorrow Bosso go into Caps United lion’s den knowing that their opponents are out for revenge.
Without Kangwa, Highlanders have struggled to create scoring opportunities with their novice strikers Prince Dube and Nhlanhla Ndlovu rarely getting clear-cut chances from the midfield.
The return of Kutsanzira as well as the availability of Gahadzikwa may be timely for the Bulawayo giants.
“I feel strong and happy to be available for selection. I’m ready to make a return and help my team win. It’s not like I’ll be walking back into the team because competition is tough but after playing in the reserve team on Wednesday, I feel I’m fully fit to last the entire game,” said Kutsanzira.
Just like Gahadzikwa, Kutsanzira is an ex-Caps United player and will fight for starting places with players like Gabriel Nyoni, Godfrey Makaruse who started on the left side of the midfield against Triangle United, Brian Banda King Nadolo and Simon Munawa.
Goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda will start ahead of either Prosper Matutu or Njabulo Nyoni with Felix Chindungwe and Peter Muduhwa partnering at central defence.
Tendai Ngulube will play as a right back while Bukhosi Ncube and Julius Daudi will fight for the left back position’s role.
Erick Mudzingwa will anchor and veteran forward Ralph Matema may be given the nod ahead of Ndlovu to partner Dube upfront.
Caps United who are on a revenge mission will be without striker Leonard Tsipa who received a red card in the first leg after heading Muduhwa in an off the ball incident.
Lloyd Chitembwe, Caps United’s coach said they need to win tomorrow’s encounter so that they stay with the leading group.
They are third on the table with 29 points, two behind second placed Highlanders and trail leaders FC Platinum by four points.
“It’s a match of big magnitude but our preparations are the same. It’s a very crucial game for us. We need to stay in the leading pack and that can only be achieved by collecting maximum points,” Chitembwe said.
The Green Machine have on paper a strong side and are capable of beating Highlanders.
Playing at Barbourfields Stadium a fortnight ago, Caps United paid dearly for their failure to convert possession dominance into goals.
They had the upper hand but rarely caused anxious moments for Highlanders.
Chitembwe will be hoping that defensive midfielder Devon Chafa who seem to be on his way back to his old self, underlining that he is arguably the best anchorman on land, Tafadzwa Rusike, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Joel Ngodzo create scoring opportunities for his strikers Dominic Chungwa and Simba Nhivi.
Carlton Munzabwa, Justice Jangano, Dennis Dauda and Ronald Pfumbidzai are expected to form Caps United’s defence with Edmore Sibanda guarding their goal.
Meanwhile, defending champions Chicken Inn will take on Harare City at Luveve Stadium tomorrow with the Colliery Stadium playing host to the Hwange-Tsholotsho FC encounter.
Triangle United who were beaten 1-3 by Ngezi Platinum in the reverse fixture will be out to turn the tables on the platinum miners at Gibbo tomorrow.
See picture on Page 11 Rahman Kutsanzira