FC Platinum make another trip to Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon for a date with ambitious newcomers Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium in a potentially mouthwatering Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match.
The City of Kings and Queens has not been favourable for the platinum miners’ coach Rahman Gumbo, who is yet to register a win in the city.
In the first trip to Bulawayo in their maiden season in the Premiership, the moneybags were on August 14 held to a goalless draw by relegation threatened Zimbabwe Saints, who put up a good show under new coach Ephraim Chawanda on his second assignment.
On that day, Rahman Gumbo blamed the White City Stadium pitch for the poor performance by his charges.
Highlanders beat the moneybags 1-0 at Barbourfields Stadium three days later and Gumbo evaded the media after the match.
One of his assistant coaches, Philani Mabhena, was suspended by the Midlands Premiership championship aspirants following the defeat.
Last Sunday FC Platinum were held to a goalless draw by joint log-leaders Motor Action at Mandava Stadium with the champions refusing to cede the top spot to the platinum miners.
On Saturday afternoon would be yet another stern test for Gumbo, without Young Warriors midfielder Joel Ngodzo and striker Benjamin Marere who are on suspension after accumulating three yellow cards each.
Despite the two key players missing, FC Platinum boasts some of the best players in the land who include reigning Soccer Star of the Year Charles Sibanda, Donald Ngoma, Thabani Kamusoko, Mthulisi Maphosa and Bhekimpilo Ncube.
FC Platinum hope to win this game and collect maximum points and pray that the Mighty Bulls lose to Zimbabwe Saints at White City Stadium tomorrow so they return to the top spot on the log-standings.
Chicken Inn coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube said they were gunning for three points in today’s match.
The Drumstick Special Boys held Highlanders to a 1-1 draw last Sunday.
“We respect them, but we will be at the party. We are going to fight because we need the three points. The whole squad is in good shape and we are ready for the match,” Beefy said.
He said he was anticipating a very physical match which was likely to see left-back Brian Mbiriri starting the match on the left link with fellow midfielders Heritani Masuku, Danny “Deco” Phiri and Canaan Nkomo with Felix Chindungwe as the anchorman.
Chicken Inn also have lethal strikers Evans Chikwaikwai and Tendai Ndoro who had a disappointing game against Highlanders.
Striker Thomas Chimenya came from the bench in the second half and changed the complexion of the game leading Chicken Inn to the equaliser that saw them share the spoils with the Bulawayo giants.
Prior to the Bosso draw, Chicken Inn hammered Kiglon 5-0 in Harare before dismissing Hwange 2-0 at Luveve. They are perched on position five on the log table, three points behind Highlanders who date Caps United at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Inconsistent Hwange travel to Harare where they take on Blue Ribbon at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday while struggling Shabanie Mine entertain Monomotapa at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane.
Masvingo United are away to Shooting Stars at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.
Saturday: Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve), Shootings Stars v Masvingo United (Rufaro)
Sunday: Caps United v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), Blue Ribbon v Hwange (Rufaro), Zimbabwe Saints v Motor Action (White City), Shabanie Mine v Monomotapa (Maglas), Gunners v Dynamos (Lafarge)