AFTER an excruciating 0-1 home defeat to perennial nemesis Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium last Sunday, Highlanders will be out to seek a return to the top spot in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) when they face relegated Motor Action at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.
Bosso could easily have opened a two-point lead against Harare City last Sunday had they beaten Dynamos.
The Sunshine City Boys had cruised 2-0 past Buffaloes to land on 48 points, but the Bulawayo giants ceded the top spot after the loss to DeMbare.
Highlanders would have been five points clear of the league champions had they won last week, but the loss saw them lag a point behind Dynamos and Harare City, who have tough away encounters this afternoon.
Dynamos will take the long trip to Gibbo Stadium in Triangle where they date Gishon Ntini’s Triangle, who are on top of their game as they seek to steer away from the relegation pack while Bigboy Mawiwi’s Harare City will be away to Black Rhinos at Rimuka Stadium in Kadoma where they have proved to be a difficult side to beat.
It is the Bulawayo giants who appear to have an easier task against the already relegated Mighty Bulls albeit playing away from home in Harare. Bosso have also played better away than in front of their home crowd.
If they beat Motor Action, they would land on 50 points and only hope that Triangle and Rhinos do the trick for them at Gibbo and Rimuka Stadium respectively, with three matches remaining to the end of the season.
With assistant coach Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu likely to take charge in the absence of head coach Kelvin Kaindu — expected back in the country yesterday from the UK where he was attending a Uefa B licence coaching course — Bosso will also be without bustling striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube who picked up a red card against Dynamos last week.
Highlanders will have to rely on the youthful Gabriel Nyoni and Beaven Chikaka upfront and Master Masitara and Tinashe Chipunza could also come into the picture.
Another player to look out for will be Masimba Mambare and ball player Mthulisi Maphosa while skipper Innocent Mapuranga is a doubtful starter after picking an injury during the Dynamos match and had to be stretchered off the field.
The youthful Ozias Zibande could also be brought into the fray in this afternoon’s tie.
At Gibbo Stadium Dynamos head coach Kalisto Pasuwa will be without inspirational defender Partson Jaure who also saw red during the Highlanders’ match at BF.
However, Dynamos manager Richard Chihoro said there was no time for any slip-ups at this crucial stage of the league, placing his hopes on other players like Augustine Mbara, Victor Kamhuka and Sydney Linyama.
Mawiwi also said he was not under any pressure playing the army side Rhinos at Rimuka although the soldiers have only lost once in Kadoma, succumbing to a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Highlanders a fortnight ago.
Harare City will be missing the services of the injured three — Willard Kalongonda, Crispen Dickson and Witness Nyamutsaka.
In the City of Kings, another mouth-watering tie will be in the offing when Chicken Inn host dark horses FC Platinum at Luveve Stadium under the guidance of new coach Joey Antipas.
FC Platinum are on 45 points, occupying the fourth spot and waiting to pounce on any faltering by the top three clubs.