IT’S derby time again at Barbourfields Stadium (BF) this afternoon as Chicken Inn host Highlanders in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie with both teams looking for wins after dropping points last weekend.
Highlanders drew 1-1 at home to Hwange while Chicken Inn were held by Triangle at Gibbo by the same scoreline.
Highlanders have been buoyed by the presence of Warriors star Kuda Mahachi, who has postponed his trip to South Africa and will square up against his former paymasters, having scored the goal that sunk Bosso in their last encounter last year.
Highlanders boss Peter Dube said Mahachi’s travel arrangements were being handled by his agent.
“We only follow what (Mamelodi) Sundowns tell us. His travel arrangements are being made by his agents and if his club presses the button we have to act. Remember he is on loan to us,” said Dube.
The attacking midfielder’s manager Mlungisi Moyo said Mahachi was meant to leave for South Africa last night.
“He is still supposed to leave tonight (last night), but we are still in talks with these people (Highlanders).
“If he leaves tonight (last night) he will probably be back by the weekend. He is going there to sort out his work permit,” he said.
Moyo added that Mahachi, who is scheduled for trials with French side Monaco, would be leaving for France on May 12.
“His visa is being processed in Harare and we hope it will be out by May 12 when he is supposed to leave for France,” Moyo said.
Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu believes that if Mahachi does not travel, he will play in today’s match.
“He (Mahachi) is available for today’s match and he is a fantastic player. His presence at Highlanders will not affect his former team because a squad is not made up of one player. We believe that he will perform well for the team,” Kaindu said.
“It is a derby and it’s going to be tough. If you look at the previous match that we played we created chances, but did not score and they created one and scored. We dominated play, but failed to score. We hope that this time we will play well,” he said.
Highlanders last beat Chicken Inn in 2011 when they won 2-1 in a match which saw Innocent Mapuranga and Eric Mudzingwa scoring.
Chicken Inn got their only goal in that match from Thomas Chimenya.
Chicken Inn captain Danny “Deco” Phiri said statistics do not count as Highlanders could turn the tables on them.
“Statistics do not work in football. They can come into the game and play differently from their previous matches. They can be at the top now, but we could also play well tomorrow (today),” he said.
Chicken Inn are eighth on the log with five points from one win and two draws with former league champions Highlanders second with eight points.
Phiri said they would take the game like any other, but the only difference was that they would be playing against people they see on a daily basis.
Chicken Inn has two former Highlanders players Mkhokheli Dube and Bhekimpilo “Barca” Ncube while Bosso have three in former Chicken Inn captain Felix Chindungwe, Njabulo Nyoni and Mahachi.
Nyoni though will have to sit on the bench as chances of dislodging top goalscorer and first choice goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya are next to nothing.
Diya has netted three penalties in four games and is among the league’s top goalscorers.
Chicken Inn’s Dube could be the man to watch in their encounter this afternoon and could probably partner attacking midfielder George Majika who turned the fortunes in their 2-2 draw against FC Platinum.
Tendai Mukambi is another player who could cause all sorts of problems for the Bosso defence led by the ageing Mapuranga.