Defending champions and Castle Lager Premier Soccer League log leaders Motor Action coach Joey Antipas said despite a 22-point gap with Zimbabwe Saints, they expected a tough and tricky encounter at White City Stadium on Sunday.
On paper Mighty Bulls have an upper hand as they top the log standings with 41 points while relegation-threatened Zimbabwe Saints are third from the bottom with 19 points. Defeat for them will only spell more disaster.
Antipas and his troops would want to win the game and ensure their stay on top of the log is not short-lived as they are tied with FC Platinum but they are on top because of a superior goal difference.
Motor Action would only underestimate Chikwata at their own peril as the Bulawayo-based team are in a precarious position, facing possible return to Division One.
Antipas on Thursday told NewsDay Sport they go into the match very cautious and expect a tough match.
“Our preparations for the game against Zimbabwe Saints are going on very well. It is going to be a tricky game as they are facing relegation and we respect them all the same,” he said.
The Warriors assistant coach said his team was under pressure to maintain pole position, therefore they would not relax against Saints.
“We are not going to underrate Zimbabwe Saints although they are fighting relegation. We have pressure because we are on top of the log, but I am confident the players will stay cool and try their best to get maximum points,” he said.
His counterpart Ephraim Chawanda said they were working hard and players were geared up to cause an upset.
“The players will be very motivated to play a top team like Motor Action. As a coach I am naturally concerned with our position on the log. But we hope that we will work as a team to salvage the situation and remain focused,” he said.
In their last league match Zimbabwe Saints lost 2-1 to Gunners in Harare. They were the first to score through Evans Rusike but Leonard Fiyado equalised before Michelle Katsvairo scored the winner for Gunners.
Zimbabwe Saints caused an upset when they held FC Platinum to a goalless draw at White City Stadium two weeks ago and were expected to build on that, but lost to Gunners.
Chawanda has at his disposal Abraham Mbaiwa, Gift Phiri, Joel Nyama and Fortune Nyambosi, Rusike, Sydney Linyama, Nkosilathi Dube, Kevin Sibanda, Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu and goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya.
Motor Action have reliable veteran Marlon Jani in goal.
Themba Ndlovu, Godfrey Moyo, Rueben Machaya and Ocean Mushure will be out to thwart any attack from Zimbabwe Saints.
Antipas can also throw Gift Phiri, Masimba Mambare, Kudakwashe Musharu and Isaac Masame into the fray.
Allen Gahadzikwa, Conrad Whitby, Eddie Chitato and experienced Enasio Perezo can also be picked to do duty against Chikwata.
Zimbabwe Saints will be without veteran Chipo Tsodzo, suspended after accumulating three yellow cards. Castro Ndebele will miss action through injury.