HARARE City are wary of the threat posed by Monomotapa as the two teams face off on Thursday in their first meeting this season as the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League finally resumes after a two-week break.
City, third on the standings on 25 points, drew their last two matches against champions Dynamos and FC Platinum before the break and are hoping to continue from where they left off.
The Sunshine City Boys are aware a win over Monomotapa and a slip-up by Dynamos would catapult them into second position on the league table and close in on leaders Highlanders.
Highlanders lead the pack with 29 points while Dynamos are placed second with 25 points. Bigboy Mawiwi’s men have the same number of points as Dynamos, but are a rung below because of an inferior goal difference.
It is against this background that City will be looking for an outright win and hope Dynamos falter on their trip to Sakubva where they clash against army side Buffaloes.
Although Harare City dominated last season’s encounter winning 2-1 against Monomotapa before drawing 1-1 in the other encounter, Mawiwi refuses the favourites tag insisting Monomotapa would be difficult to break down.
“Monomotapa are a difficult team to break down. They have been playing well and we expect a tough match. But we have also been playing well before the break and are looking forward to maintaining our form.
“The Premiership break has affected our rhythm because those two draws against Dynamos and FC Platinum were good results for us. If we had not taken a break, we were on the right path. But all the same we have regrouped and want to pick up points against Monomotapa,” said Mawiwi.
The Harare City coach said they had hoped that striker Martin Vengesayi, who picked a knee injury during the drawn game against Dynamos, would have recovered during the break, but was still not fit to play. Also still out is veteran defender David Kutyauripo, whose hand is still in plaster.
Monomotapa, under the guidance of Biggie Zuze, drew their last three matches. They fought bravely to draw 1-1 against FC Platinum before drawing 0-0 against Hwange and Caps United.
In other matches, Highlanders host Chicken Inn in a city derby at Barbourfields while Caps United entertain Hwange at the National Sports Stadium.