The Bulawayo derby could not have come at a better time than this as a wounded Chicken Inn hosts unbeaten Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. The derby has become the most fiercest in Bulawayo ever since Amazulu got relegated in 2005.
Joey Antipas has always been Bosso’s bogeyman,from his time at Motor Action and even now at Chicken Inn,however this season he has already lost 2-1 to Bosso in the pre-season ZNA Cup semi final,played over two venues in two days in February.
Chicken Inn will bank on the veterans Obadiah Tarumbwa,Daryl Nyandoro and Clemence Matawu as they seek to bounce back from last weekend`s loss in Mhondoro.The Bosso defence will have to be wary of the deadly trio,if they entertain any hopes of keeping a fourth straight win.Antipas’s side are very compact and will make it difficult for Bosso to play their normal passing game.
Goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda has been in imperious form,going for 360 minutes without conceding a goal and it will require a lot of probing from Chicken Inn to breach him.On Sunday he will be Bosso’s key player alongside his back four marshalled by Peter Muduhwa,Honest Moyo,McClive Phiri and Charlton Siamalonga who have restored Bosso’s culture of always building attacks from the back.Brian Banda has also been producing stuff from the tinderbox in midfield and will be the engine room to supply the Bosso frontline.The midfield battle will determine the winner of the encounter
The fixture steals the thunder from all the weekend fixtures but a full round of Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures are on this weekend.
Black Rhinos vs Chapungu(Rufaro)
The uniformed forces battle will kick start the weekend action as Chipembere and Waruwaru clash at Rufaro.Rhinos will start off as favorites and have their tails up after grabbing all the three points in Bulawayo last week against Bulawayo City.Masimba Mambare was impressive and Chapungu will have to be wary of the threat posed by the former Highlanders and Dynamos star.They lost at home to FC Platinum last time out and it remains to be seen how they will respond against the Herbert Maruwa coached Rhinos side.
Mutare City vs Bulawayo Chiefs(Vengere Stadium)
The Mutare side collected their first away point against Shabanie Mine on Sunday.City will be buoyed by the fact that they have been given the greenlight to use Vengere Stadium in Rusape,which they hope will be their hunting ground.Gusha Bhora will seek to register their first victory of the season and move out of the relegation zone.They face a highly unpredictable Bulawayo Chiefs side that has been impressive so far.Amakhosi Amahle will be out to restore lost pride after their defeat to Harare City last week.
FC Platinum vs Harare City(Mandava Stadium)
Clashes between Pure Platinum Play and Sunshine Boys are known to produce thrills and Saturday`s encounter is no exception.Platinum are unbeaten and are second on log.They return to their fortress Mandava after dispatching Chapungu at Ascot last Sunday.They face an equally fired up Harare City side,that stifled the life out of Bulawayo Chiefs in their previous fixture.It is battle royale and a draw might be the fairest result as both teams will battle to mantain their unbeaten starts to the season.
Herentals vs Bulawayo Chiefs(Rufaro)
Bulawayo City have been inconsistant this season and they face a Herentals side that is yet to find their feet in the Premiership.Darlington Dodo might be feeling the heat as Amakhosi have tasted victory only once this season.They will fancy themselves against the newboys who have been blowing hot and cold and their coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva has already indicated that they are battling relegation.
Nichrut vs ZPC Kariba(Ascot Stadium)
John Nyikadzvino`s side have done reasonably well so far and last week gave Highlanders a big scare at Barbourfields Stadium.Striker Tatenda Hapazari,gave Bosso a torrid time and his team will hope he finds the back of the net against a seemingly out of power ZPC Kariba.The Kariba side have collected a single point this season and anchor the log standings.After holding struggling Dynamos at Nyamhunga,it might be a turn for better fortunes for them.
Triangle United vs Caps United(Gibbo Stadium)
An interesting duel is on in the lowveld.Triangle’s resurgence that has seen them collect 7 points in 3 outings will be tasted by an undefeated Makepekepe.Taurai Mangwiro`s charges are fired up and it seems his team has gelled the likes of Pasca Manhanga and Lameck Nhamo have hit top form.
United will have to be at their best if they entertain any hopes of leaving Gibbo with the maximum points,although Nigerian import Abassarim Chidiebere has been Makepekepe`s talisman and if he continues his fine form then the Sugar Boys might be in trouble.
Shabanie Mine vs Ngezi Platinum(Maglas Stadium)
The log leaders take their juggernaut to the Midlands as Madamburo seek their sixth consecutive win.Tonderayi Ndiraya has targeted a 10 match winning streak and Sundays encounter is part of the equation.Clive Augusto who scored the solitary strike against Chicken Inn will be the target man for Ngezi.Maglas Stadium is a hostile venue to visit though and the Chinda Boys might brew a shocker and suprise Ngezi.League top goalscorer David Temwanjira will be the man Ngezi have to watch out for.
Dynamos vs Yadah Stars(Rufaro)
Could this be the match DeMbare turn around their fortunes?They have faltered in five outings and will seek to bury their lacklustre displays against the Stars.With Christian Epoupa having terminated his contract with the Harare side,it will be a tough task for Lloyd Mutasa to find a replacement.
The strikers have fired blanks in four of the five matches played this season.Dynamos will start off as favorites despite the poor form.Yadah will hope Ralph Matema continues with his scoring form to salvage something substantial at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.