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Highlanders, Chicken Inn in derby

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Focus this weekend returns to the local Castle Lager Premiership as leaders Highlanders welcome Chicken Inn to Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday, determined to extend their lead.

Second-placed Dynamos will be inactive as they have three players in the national team preparing to play Mozambique in a 2014 World Cup qualifier this Sunday in Maputo.

Bosso, under Zambian Kelvin Kaindu, have 22 points from eight games, five more than Dynamos, and could stretch that to eight points should they win. Buffaloes could occupy second spot if they beat Gunners at Sakubva on Sunday while FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine have good chances of pushing Dynamos further down the log.

Platinum, who will be without coach Rahman Gumbo, host struggling Quelaton at Mandava Stadium on Saturday while Shabanie Mine face a tricky encounter against Hwange at the Colliery.
The 2012 Premiership season is returning from a two-week break following former Warriors captain Benjani Mawaruwari’s testimonial match and the national team’s first 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Guinea.

Highlanders’ last game was an emphatic 2-0 victory in Zvishavane where they beat Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium to seal a five-match unbeaten run, after the draw to returnees Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium. After sharing the spoils with the Mutare-based army side, Highlanders dismissed FC Platinum 3-1 at Mandava Stadium in a re-arranged league match, beat Black Mambas by the same scoreline at Morris Depot before hammering Monomotapa 3-0 at Barbourfields.

Kaindu’s boys went on to beat bogey side Hwange 1-0 at Emagumeni before thumping Luke Masomere-coached Shabanie at Maglas.

They are the only unbeaten team in the league. The Adam Ndlovu-coached Chicken Inn started the season on a high note with a 2-0 win over Caps United in a match that was abandoned in added time, but awarded to the fastfood outlet team on a 3-0 scoreline.

The Drumstick Special Boys edged neighbours Quelaton 2-0 at Luveve before thrashing Blue Rangers 3-0 in Harare. The tide turned when they drew 1-1 with FC Platinum at Luveve before they started losing, first to lowly Hardbody 1-0 at Ascot Stadium in Gweru and then 1-0 to other newcomers Buffaloes at home. Champions Dynamos gave them a 3-1 hiding at Rufaro Stadium, on a day captain Hebert Dick was shown the red card. Dick will not be playing on Sunday as he has not finished serving his suspension.

However, after the loss to DeMbare, Chicken Inn beat Black Mambas 1-0 at Luveve and another win against Bosso on Sunday would definitely put them back on track. Kaindu and Ndlovu are former Highlanders players and that will definitely add flavour to the match with midfielder Heritani Masuku likely to be up against his former paymasters.
Chicken Inn held Bosso to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last year, when they were under the guidance of Philani “Beefy” Ncube after losing the opening fixture 2-0.

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