HIGHLANDERS will be out to possibly mete out revenge on Monomotapa when the two sides clash in the quarter-final of the second edition of the Mbada Diamonds Cup at the Hwange Colliery Stadium tomorrow.
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Monomotapa thrashed Bosso 3-0 on September 29 to put an end to a 23-match unbeaten run in the Castle Lager Premiership and they look forward to adding salt to injury when the two sides meet in Hwange.
They left base – Harare – yesterday morning for a close to 738km journey to the coal mining town for Bosso, who have been beset with their own problems with players coming from an industrial action.
Highlanders welcome back right-back Bruce Tshuma after a long lay-off due to injury. Head coach Kelvin Kaindu yesterday said he was enjoying a good bill of health with everyone available for selection.
“We are shaping up and we are focusing on the game and not our opponents. Of course we struggled to get to this stage and this year is different from last year with sponsors having put in a lot more than last year. We are ready for the game,” Kaindu said.
The Zambian national – who on Thursday said he was impressed with his charges were positively responding to training after the strike – put emphasis on the boys focusing on the future rather than the past, with apparent reference to the industrial action.
With Graham Ncube failing to pick up his game after last registering his name on the score-sheet in May, Kaindu could gamble with either heavily-built Cleopas Dube or Beaven Chikaka and young Ozias Zibande with Simba Mambare and Milton Ncube playing behind the two.
Also in the game will probably be captain Innocent Mapuranga, ever-green Erick Mudzingwa, Mthulisi Maphosa, Peter “Rio” Moyo and Simon Munawa.
Players to watch out for at Monomotapa will be the first hat-trick snatcher in the 2012 Mbada Diamonds Cup, midfielder Ronald Chitiyo, who fired past Hardbody in the first round in Beitbridge.
Osborne Mukuradare found the net three times when Monos dismissed Highlanders in a league match three weeks ago.
Coach Biggie Zuze welcomes Tawanda Nyamandwe – another option upfront who could pose a danger for Bosso.
“We have prepared very well and everyone is ready for the game, but this is a new game and we are expecting a lot of changes. It will be a tricky game, but we are hoping for the same result,” Zuze said.
Russell Madamombe, Kudakwashe Musharu, Tendai Ngulube, Nelson Meson, Obey Mwerahari and goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi will play.
Winners at the Colliery tomorrow progress to the semi-final for a date with the winner between Caps United and Buffaloes. They battle in another quarter-final tie at Gibbo Stadium in Chiredzi today.