Hwange, Tsholotsho target FC Platinum and Caps United
LOWLY placed Hwange and Tsholotsho FC have declared war on Castle Lager Premier Soccer League top of the table clubs FC Platinum and Caps United, who they face respectively this afternoon.
Hwange and Tsholotsho believe they have nothing to lose and pressure will be on FC Platinum, who on top with 36 points and Caps United in second place.
The coalminers visit Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane this afternoon confident of completing a double over championship favourites FC Platinum.
Hwange were the second team to beat FC Platinum this season, emerging 2-1 winners at the Colliery Stadium last month.
The visitors’ coach Mebelo Njekwa said their intention is to collect maximum points and move up the ladder, but he’s aware the platinum miners will throw everything at them for victory to increase their lead.
“This will be a tightly contested game because we beat them in the first round and they obviously want a win. For them, it will be more of a revenge mission, and being championship favourites, they’re hard-pressed for victory, which they won’t get on a silver platter because we also want to move up the ladder. We’re trying to build consistency, meaning that we’re going to Zvishavane with high hopes of getting something positive,” said Njekwa.
Gift Mbweti, scorer of Hwange’s solitary goal against Tsholotsho on Sunday, is expected to start today’s match.
The coalminers will be hoping goalkeeper Future Sibanda, youngsters Andrew Tandi and Pritchard Mphelele, veterans Obert Moyo, Gerald Ndlovu, Andrew Tshuma and Gilbert Zulu can lead them to victory.
Njekwa also spoke of the need to convert chances they create this afternoon.
If they fail to make use of their chances, Hwange risk being punished by FC Platinum, whose never-saydie attitude saw them notching up a late 1-0 win over Bulawayo City at Barbourfields on Saturday.
The platinum miners are likely to give their midseason signings utility player William Stima and strikers Charles Sibanda and Michael Kawashu game time against Hwange.
Other players to watch include the Moyo twins Kevin and Elvis, centre-back Gift Bello, midfielders Nqobizitha Masuku, Winston Mhango, who has been a key figure, Walter Musona and Rodwell Chinyengetere.
At Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon, Tsholotsho will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways by springing a shocker against Caps United, who are bubbling with confidence following a 1-0 win over Highlanders in their last outing.
Tsholotsho FC are licking wounds from a 0-1 away loss to Hwange.
Lizwe Sweswe, the Tsholotsho coach, said they were ready for Caps United.
“It’s a tough game, but we’re prepared to get three points. We’re not bothered what they do because we’ve got different goals. They want to remain in the championship race and we want to get away from the relegation zone, which means it’s going to be an interesting match,” said Sweswe.
Goalkeeper Nickel Marichi, defenders MacClive Phiri, Nkosi Moyo, Thando Ncube and Spar Moyo will have to be attentive to thwart Caps United’s raids likely to be led by Dominic Chungwa, Tafadzwa Rusike and Simba Nhivi.
Champions Chicken Inn should brace for a tough encounter at Ngezi Platinum Stars, who are unbeaten in six games. Chicken Inn ended a four-match winless streak with a 2-0 home win over Harare City at the weekend. — @ZililoR *Please accept our apologies for the mistake that appeared on the PSL table in Monday and yesterday’s editions of the paper placing Highlanders second instead of Caps United. This was due to the erroneous use of an automated log template. The correct log table is as published above. — Editor
Lizwe Sweswe Mebelo Njekwa