ALL but one of the four teams involved in the nail-biting tussle for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League championship should pass litmus tests in tricky away fixtures on
Champions Highlanders take on Wankie at the Colliery Stadium while former log leaders Caps United make the long trip to Zvishavane for a date with Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium.
Mutare’s Sakubva Stadium hosts a battle that will be livened up by exciting attacking play between log leaders Amazulu and Motor Action. A damper to this weekend’s fixtures is probably the inactivity of third-placed Dynamos – a huge crowd puller.
Although Bosso trounced Wankie 3-0 in the return fixture at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, the coal miners’ resurgence as they viciously fight to escape relegation, coupled with the traditional hoodoo at the Colliery Stadium, make Sunday’s encounter a different ball game altogether.
It will need, once again, the strong and resilient character of the champions to be able to brush aside Tavaka Gumbo’s charges. That calls for Bosso’s seasoned campaigners in Richard Choruma, captain Bhekithemba Ndlovu, Gift Lunga and Chipo Tsodzo to use their vast experience to achieve results.
The same scenario prevails in the match at Maglas Stadium. Although the hosts have been struggling with their game, they however take on Caps United still licking its wounds after two consecutive defeats. The visitors have a poor record of consistently slumping once they start losing.
Shabanie Mine coach, Moses Chunga knows pretty well that his career in the asbestos-mining town of Zvishavane is on the edge and nothing short of a victory would help matters.
Chunga has the players who can even win the championship – John Banda, Misheck Makota, Patrick Mandizha, Albert Mbano and Asani Juma.
Caps United coach, Fewdays Musonda has to plug the big holes in his defence or risk coming out of Maglas Stadium a disappointed man. His strikers – Walter Chuma, Brain Badza, Limited Chikafa and Leonard Tsipa – also need to be more serious in front of goal than they were in the past two matches against Black Rhinos and Motor Action.
Amazulu, who have sustained their own record of inconsistency and unpredictability have the pedigree to massacre Motor Action as much as they have the proven potential to disappoint their handful of followers.
Whatever the mood Amazulu will be in, a scintillating midfield battle is guaranteed. Motor Action’s charismatic playmaker, Clement Mutawu combining with the experience of Alisara Kondowe and Francis Jeymen will seek to outwit the visitors’ major strength in the midfield.
Usuthu have Ronald Sibanda, Master Masiku, Isaac Riyano, Vusumuzi Nyoni and Ferdinand Mwachindalo in the crucial department.
Motor Action might however fall short in the strike force where the visitors have a reliable combination of the season’s revelations, Sageby Sandaka and veteran hitman Norman Nkomani.
Sporting Lions are tipped to ease past Chapungu at Gwanzura Stadium tomorrow.
Saturday: Sporting Lions v Chapungu (Gwanzura)
Sunday: Shabanie Mine v Caps United (Maglas), Wankie v Highlanders (Colliery), Motor Action v Amazulu (Sakubva).