Platinum ready for Green Mamba

Zimbabwe’s second representatives in the Caf Champions League FC Platinum will on Tuesday name their final 18-member travelling squad to Swaziland for Sunday’s preliminary round first leg football match against Green Mamba.

The match, initially set for the Trade Fair Grounds, has been moved to Somhlolo Stadium which has an artificial turf. Platinum have played three matches as part of preparations for the match.

They beat Motor Action 2-1 in the Bob 88 Super Cup in Mutare before losing 2-0 to Botswana Meat Commission at Mandava Stadium last Saturday.

On Saturday, they drew 0-0 against Black Mambas at Rufaro in their final preparatory match although they would obviously be wary of firing blanks in the last two games.

Team spokesman Phil Muvengwa said they were still working on combinations and were not worried much about the results.

“We played very well and we are not really worried about the lack of goals as there are combinations that were being worked on. We should be naming the final team on Tuesday,” he said.

Platinum will leave on Thursday via Johannesburg, South Africa, where they will connect to Mbabane. They will have two days of training on Friday and Saturday before the match.

Coach Rahman Gumbo is likely to name his strongest squad for the match, buoyed by recent good performances shown by new signings, Qadr Amini, Gilbert Banda, Allen Gahadzikwa and regulars Charles Sibanda, Donald Ngoma, Daniel Vheremu and goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube.

Other players in contention for a Champions League appearance include Ali Sadiki, Michelle Katsvairo, Rowan Nenzou and Simon Shoko.

Gumbo has been to the Champions League twice with Highlanders, but has never managed to reach the mini-league phase.

Now endowed with unlimited resources, the Warriors interim coach just has to perform and knows Sudanese side El Merreikh and Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe stand between him and that dream appearance.

Green Mamba have former Njube Sundowns midfielder Stanford Ncube.

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