RELEGATION-threatened Tripple B will be forced to use goalkeeper Tapiwa Mafunga as a right-back when they face red-hot Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo this afternoon due to a spate of injuries in the team.
However, Tripple B said Bosso should not underestimate them.
Tripple B are up against the on-fire Bulawayo giants who beat Buffaloes 3-0 in a Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo and are also chasing the championship.
Tripple B coach Peter Manoti told Southern Eye Sport that they have a crisis ahead of their trip to Bulawayo.
“It is a must-win encounter for us. But we are in a very bad situation because we have six players injured. We will be forced to play our goalkeeper Mafunga as a right-back as cover. He played as an infield player when he was a junior,” he said.
The injured players are Maxwell Mavhuto, captain Oscar Chove, Webster Chingodza, Lloyd Chiwaridzo, Simon Mayengeni and Thomas Kombora.
“It is a serious crisis because Phillip Makanje is also out after receiving a red card against Monomotapa. We will also field some of our juniors. We just hope they will rise to the occasion. Regardless of the crisis this is a stepping stone for our youngsters. However, Highlanders should not take us for granted,” he said.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu who was away in Zambia on personal business is expected back in the city this morning ahead of the tie.
Bosso assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu yesterday said they were geared for the match.
“As Highlanders, we are prepared for the match. We do not look at the (log) position of the team, but we just take each and every game very seriously. We will go there targeting a win because we want to finish strongly.
“Tripple B have not played well this season, but every team is motivated whenever they play us,” the former Highlanders defender said.
He said they would miss midfielder Hillary Madzivanyika who is on suspension after accumulating three yellow cards, but said they have able replacements in the team.
Peter Moyo missed the Buffaloes match and his expected return will be an added advantage.
Tripple B have a tough task ahead as Bosso would want to win the match to pile pressure on log leaders Dynamos who will have a tricky tie against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane this afternoon.
Bosso have a chance of ending the day on top of the log table if they win and Dynamos slip in Zvishavane, although the Harare City-Black Mambas result will also come into play Tripple B are second from the bottom of the log table with 19 points from 23 games while Highlanders are second with 41 points from the same number of games.
Mthulisi Maphosa, Masimba Mambare and Milton Ncube were on target in the triumph over Buffaloes and are expected to continue in their fine form.
Ndlovu said Highlanders striker Gabriel Nyoni was undergoing assessment as he was not feeling well.
Nyoni seemed to be forming a good partnership with fellow striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube upfront for Bosso.