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Lulu meets Chicken Inn


FORMER Chicken Inn mentor Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu meets his former paymasters when Bantu Rovers take on Chicken Inn in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds on Saturday.


Mpofu, who quit the team after a string of poor performances after winning the NetOne Charity Shield last season, joined Methembe Ndlovu at Bantu Rovers at the beginning of this season.

He has been given the role of “associate coach” a position which was relatively unknown in Zimbabwe until now.

Mpofu will be in charge of Bantu Rovers with the hope that he would help the struggling side survive the chop.

Ndlovu is out of the country on business.

“The main objective for the team is to survive relegation and to start off we have to win against Chicken Inn. It will be a tough match, but the most important thing is that we have to work hard,” Mpofu said.

Chicken Inn lost 1-2 in their first league encounter against Bantu Rovers earning Tshintsha Guluva the bragging rights in the local derby.

Rovers have lost one match in local derbies and that was 2-4 against Highlanders at the end of the first half, but forced a draw against them in the reverse fixture. Mpofu said the fact that he knows Chicken Inn players and their type of play could prove either an advantage or disadvantage for them.

“It could go either way. This could act as an advantage or a disadvantage because when we played them and beat them they went and did their homework and could have a different game plan altogether,” he said.

“Because the league is coming to an end we aim at collecting as many points as possible by winning most of our matches. This is going to be tough because all teams want the same.”

Nqobizitha Masuku, the Bantu Rovers captain who had been injured and did not feature in their goalless draw against Caps United, could be back for the Chicken Inn match.

Tafadzwa Kutinyu who has been a revelation for Bantu Rovers and one of the players to look out for in the future, is expected to pass a late fitness test.

Bantu Rovers last won a match on June 21 when they beat Buffaloes 3-1 and since then they have collected four points from draws in 10 games. Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas would expect a good game from Bantu Rovers.

“They took us out in the first half and we are now into the second half and Bantu would want to continue. The thing about Bantu Rovers is their team performance and since they are staring relegation in the face they would want to win,” the former Motor Action boss said.

“We can never be content with our position on the log, but we have to come up with a good performance and guard against complacency,” Antipas said.

Chicken Inn lost their last encounter 1-3 against Chapungu at Ascot Stadium in Gweru and are seventh on the log with 30 points, tied with eighth-placed Buffaloes.

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