CHICKEN INN head coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu is brewing another shocker for Bulawayo giants Highlanders when the two clubs engage in the reverse fixture in the 2013 Castle Lager Premier season at Barbourfields (BF) Stadium today.
Mpofu yesterday said despite missing four key players in his camp, he was confident that the GameCox could complete a double over Bosso after beating them 1-0 on June 19 for the first time since coming into the Premiership in 2011.
Skipper Felix Chindungwe and leading scorer Tendai Ndoro are in Zambia on national duty while midfielder Thabani Goredema and defender Tonisani Sibelo are out due to suspension.
“Considering that this is a derby, everyone available will be grabbing the opportunity with both hands to do their best. Of course it will be a tough call since we collected three points from the big club and they will be out on a revenge mission.
But it is time for us to be recognised as a big club. It is not going to be easy, but I think we are in the right direction. Everyone is looking sharp and we are looking forward to bettering our position (on the log). Our target is still a top-four finish, but if we can win the championship, that will be a bonus,” Mpofu said.
Guide Goddard and Moses Jackson could be making a comeback in defence this afternoon with Zephania Ngodzo and Brian Mbiriri on the flanks.
Forward, Mpofu will be spoilt for choice with Kudakwashe Mahachi, Tendai Mukambi, former Bosso striker Mkhokheli Dube, Thomas Chimenya and Marshal Marima.
Chicken Inn are square on 30 points with second-placed Highlanders behind log leaders Harare City, with champions Dynamos on 28 points and Caps United (27) chasing.
In the meantime, it’s anyone’s game as the title race remains wide open with DeMbare hosting Buffaloes who beat them 3-2 in Mutare while the Green Machine will be on the road once more to the Colliery for Hwange after the eventful goalless draw against Bosso at BF last weekend.
But pressure seems to be on Bosso, who have gone for four matches without a win as they re-engage Chicken Inn at Emagumeni.
Highlanders have lost three matches at BF and meet Chicken Inn after losing 0-1 to them on June 19, followed by another defeat to Caps United in Harare three days later, and the early exit from the BancABC Sup8r Cup through a 3-1 loss to FC Platinum and last week’s goalless deadlock at BF.
After the draw to Caps United, Bosso gaffer Kelvin Kaindu said picking up a point after a losing streak was a good sign and he was looking forward to the Chicken Inn clash.
Bosso will welcome back the ever-improving central defender Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu and Peter “Rio” Moyo from suspension, but will be without Masimba Mambare who is captaining the Warriors in the Cosafa Castle Cup in Zambia and goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, also on national duty.
Attacking midfielder Milton Ncube will be the man to watch at Bosso, with anchorman Mthulisi Maphosa’s defence-splitting passes in the centre park expected. He will be assisted by Hillary Madzivanyika or Bhekimpilo Ncube. Upfront Bosso will have the likes of Graham Ncube, Beaven Chikaka, Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, the young Ozias Zibande and Knox Mutizwa. But of late, the strikers have been a big letdown.