Zimbabwe Saints will hope to continue with their unbeaten record at home when they take on Shabanie Mine in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Luveve Stadium on Thursday.
Chikwata have not lost a match at home since their return to the top-flight league. Saints are tenth on the log standings with 15 points while Shabanie are second from the bottom of the 16-team log with 10 points from 11 matches.
Head coach Willard “Mashinkila” Khumalo yesterday told NewsDay Sport that they are hoping for a good result when they play the Zvishavane side on Wednesday.
“We hope to continue with our unbeaten record at home. We want to get a positive result from the match,” Khumalo said.
Shabanie Mine coach Arnold Jani is optimistic that they would be coming to Bulawayo to collect the vital three points.
“We want to collect maximum points against Zimbabwe Saints. We have done enough preparations for the match,” Jani said.
Jani said they want to win the match as they have been drawing most of their assignments.
“We have been drawing in most of our away games. We are doing our homework by working hard with our strikers because we have been creating chances but we were not utilising our chances well,” he said.
In their last match Zimbabwe Saints lost 1-0 to FC Platinum a week after they had put up a good show beating Dynamos 1-0 at Barbourfields Stadium.
In their previous encounters Chikwata have beaten Gunners 2-1 and drawn 1-1 with Masvingo United at home.
Rivals Shabanie Mine have drawn in most of their encounters.
They drew 0-0 against Gunners, before they held Monomotapa 1-1 away from home. They also drew 1-1 with Dynamos in Harare.
Jani will pin his hopes on Tarisai Rukanda and Michael Mageja to be on target for the Zvishavane team.
Veteran Rowan Nenzou and Elasto Bakacheza are likely to be in battle in the midfield against Ntokozo Tshuma who could be a thorn in the flesh if not closely monitored.
Former Highlanders player Chipo Tsodzo could also cause heartaches for the visitors as he can score crucial goals on his day. He at times plays as a defender.
Beaven Chikaka, Ngonidzashe Murisa, Simbarashe Gate and Fortune Nyambosi are the options Khumalo can use to unlock the Shabanie Mine defence which has Rodney Mware, Boniface Dimanji, Smart Muchabaiwa and Jonathan Chitereke.
Shabanie Mine will rely on goalkeeper Roy Mazingi in between the posts while Munyaradzi Diya is likely to be in goals for Chikwata.
Zimbabwe Saints can count on the experience of former Dynamos duo of Philip Sithole, Tafadzwa Maingire and Leo Kurauzvione.
Former Highlanders, Bantu Rovers and Sundowns defender Danisa Phiri, and former Amazulu defender Voster Chitema are the defenders in Chikwata’s ranks who would be out to thwart any meaningful moves by Shabanie Mine.
Zimbabwe Saints will miss the services of Gift Phiri and Caleb Masocha on suspension, while Shabanie Mine will miss Tafadzwa Mombeshora who has just started training after he sustained an injury.