A battle for fourth place in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League is in the offing at the Colliery Stadium tomorrow when hosts Hwange welcome Highlanders in what promises to be an enthralling tie.
Highlanders are placed fourth on the log with 25 points while Hwange are sixth with 24 points. If Hwange win — depending also on results from other games — they would swop positions with the Bulawayo giants.
Highlanders would be seeking to gain ground on the top three — FC Platinum Motor Action and Dynamos — who all have tricky encounters.
Leaders Platinum play Kiglon at Gwanzura today.
Motor Action are at Mucheke against Masvingo, while Dynamos face Caps United in the 68th Harare derby at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
Highlanders’ hunger and the fact they have fired blanks in the last two matches against Kiglon had Hwange coach Tennant Chilumba worried.
Highlanders have collected two points in their last two league games against Kiglon. The Harare side held them to a goalless draw in Harare two Sundays back before they were held to another goalless draw at Barbourfields Stadium last Sunday.
Hwange also dropped two points against Zimbabwe Saints in their last encounter.
Chipangano looked set to walk away with three points against Zimbabwe Saints at White City Stadium last Saturday, but a defensive lapse with only three minutes to end of game led to Chikwata’s equaliser.
Hwange had scored first through veteran striker Gilbert Zulu before Evans Rusike equalised for Chikwata.
“Highlanders are a good side and they have a good coach. They have just been missing chances . . . It is not that they have not been playing well. We have to be focused and ensure that we collect the three points. If we win we can be number four on the log. We are ready for the game,” he said.
Bosso coach Mkhuphali Masuku said they had been working hard with the strikeforce.
“We have been working on our finishing. We hope that come Sunday (tomorrow) the boys will be equal to the task. We are looking forward to a good game,” he said.
After a bright start to the season, strikers Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, former Caps United forward Vincent Nzombe and Xolani Ncube have fizzled out and have to work extra hard to get past veteran goalkeeper Timothy Sibanda and his defence of captain Gerald Ndlovu, Andrew Tshuma, Aaron Katebe and Munyaradzi Mungadze.
Highlanders could be tormented by Zulu, Rodwell Chinyengetere and Francisco Zvikumbawire.
If selected, the three have to unlock the Highlanders defence marshalled by captain Gilbert Banda, Innocent Mapuranga, Lawson Nkomo and veteran Gift Lunga. Highlanders will be without midfielder Eric Mudzingwa through injury, while Hwange welcome back goalkeeper Sibanda who missed the Zimbabwe Saints game through injury.
Bosso know the danger posed by Kennedy Kashema as his solitary goal sank the Bulawayo side at Barbourfields Stadium last month.
Chilumba said former University of Pretoria defender Obert Moyo, who got his reverse international clearance last week, was not going to feature against Highlanders because of bereavement in the family.
In other matches, Shabanie Mine host Black Mambas at Maglas Stadium tomorrow.
Shabanie Mine need to win as they are placed third from the bottom of the 16-team league with 16 points, while Black Mambas have the same number of points but have a superior goal difference.
In the last match in the Southern Region tomorrow, Masvingo United coach Luke Masomere will lead his charges against defending league champions Motor Action at Mucheke Stadium.