League champions Motor Action will be walking wounded when they face Highanders in a potentially explosive BancABC Sup8r Cup final at Barbourfields Stadium this Saturday.
The Harare side will be missing three key players — Kuda Musharu, Tawanda Nyamandwe and Irvine Masame — who are suspended.
However, head coach Joey Antipas yesterday said the absence of the trio would not affect their quest to win the trophy.
Musharu and Nyamandwe were red-carded in the semi-final against Dynamos in Harare while Masame picked up a second yellow card in the Bulls’ last encounter.
“We are looking forward to the game and the boys are in high spirits. The biggest problem is that we are without Musharu, Tawanda and Masame. But that will not deter us from winning the match. We have prepared hard for this game,” Antipas said.
He said Motor Action were not under pressure playing at Barbourfields Stadium.
“Despite the three missing, we are raring to go and the guys who are coming in should be able to stand up to the fight. Highlanders will have the full crowd behind them, but we are well-prepared for that. Let’s have a good game tomorrow and the better team should win.
“I urge our supporters to come and give us support,” Antipas said.
Without the trio, Antipas has Masimba Mambare, who has been on and off, young Conrad Whitby and Themba Ndlovu to fill the gap.
The Mighty Bulls will also be relying on inspirational goalkeeper and captain Marlon Jani, strikers Enasio Perezo and Allan Gahadzikwa.
Bosso are eyeing a second piece of silverware for the season after lifting the Independence Trophy in April.
But Highlanders coach Mkhuphali Masuku’s headache is the fact that Motor Action beat his side back-to-back in the league championship this year.
Masuku yesterday said it was time they ended Motor Action’s dominance over Highlanders.
“We have had a few knocks here and there, but all is well and we are ready to pick up more silverware,” Mr Cooper said.
Highlanders will be hoping that goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda does not repeat the silly mistakes he made when Bosso lost to Caps United in a league match a fortnight ago. The solid defence of captain Gilbert Banda and Innocent Mapuranga with Lawson Nkomo at right-back will be ready to stop the Mighty Bulls’ attack.
Left-back Bruce Tshuma could play his third BancABC Sup8r Cup final this afternoon.
Bosso also have in their ranks in-form Louis Matawu, dribbling wizard Rahman Kutsanzira, Warriors trialist Eric Mudzingwa and anchorman Simon Munawa.
Striker Graham Ncube, who scored the winner in the semi-final against Shabanie Mine, is also available for selection.
The winner of this year’s prestigious BancABC Sup8r Cup walks away with $50 000 in a match that will go straight into penalty kicks if the teams are deadlocked at regulation time. The runners-up will take home $20 000.
A draw will be held for a brand new Ford Ranger at the match venue with the first 10 000 fans through the turnstiles each receiving a Sup8r T-shirt courtesy of the sponsors.