CHICKEN INN anchorman Danny Phiri is back home and is expected to feature in today’s tough Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match against a resurgent Caps United at Luveve Stadium.
SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA/THANDIWE MOYO
The match will be screened live on SuperSport 9 at 1500hrs
Phiri, who is also the GameCocks captain, has not been with the team for about two weeks as he had gone on trials with South African lower league side FC Cape Town.
Coach Joey Antipas said although they have been performing well without him, they welcome back his services.
“We have been doing well without him, but we are glad he is back and he will add another dimension in midfield. All the other players have a clean bill of health and they are fighting for selection,” he said.
“It will be a tough tussle and we are playing a team who are in good form. We have a good game on our hands and our players are ready and capable of playing well. The boys are focused on the match.”
Antipas will probably make use of his regulars Moses Jackson, Passmore John Bernard, Brian Juru, Thabani Goredema, Thomas Chimenya, Canaan Nkomo and Clemence Matawu.
Such is the confidence in the Green Machine camp that even the dream of winning the coveted title is not far from their thoughts.
After collecting six points from their last two matches, the former champions are fourth with 23 points, one behind leaders Highlanders and ZPC Kariba and on par with Dynamos, whom they clash with next weekend.
Caps United public relations manager Joyce Kapote said they were happy with their progress so far.
“We have played well so far and we are happy that we are getting the results that we need. It is a result of hard work. We are ready for the match and it will be a good match. We want to thank our supporters for rallying behind us through tough times,” she said.
Ronald Pfumbidzai and Tendai Samanja will not feature in today’s game due to injuries while coach Taurai Mangwiro is also out as he is attending a Caf A licence course in Harare. Caps United still have Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Leonard Fiyado, Jorum Muchambo, David Chipala, Stephen Makatuka and Moses Muchenje to turn to.
In their last six encounters, Caps United have beaten Chicken Inn three times while the latter has won twice. They played a two-all draw once in 2012.
Meanwhile, Highlanders will be searching for their first ever PSL victory against How Mine at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
Last season, in their maiden appearance in the top-flight league, the Metallon Gold-sponsored How Mine completed a double over the Bulawayo giants, winning 2-1 and 1-0 at BF.
Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu said they were prepared for the match.
“Our preparations for the match are OK. Last season, it was difficult for us because they beat us twice and we only managed to beat them in the Mbada Diamonds Cup. It is a derby. We have been working on our tactics ahead of the How Mine match. We can’t say if we will win, but we will talk after playing,” he said.
Bosso will be without anchorman Eric Mudzingwa who is serving suspension.
“Mudzingwa has been instrumental in our past games. He has helped us, but there is nothing we can do. We can’t dwell on it. It is time for the other players to show what they can do,” Kaindu said.
He added that there was very stiff competition in the league.
“The log position is very tricky. If you look at the top teams up to number six, there is a difference of about a point each. Any team can occupy the top spot in only one game because teams are doing well,” he said.
How Mine assistant coach Simba Rusike said they were awaiting the challenge.
“All I can say is that history does not work in football. It is a new game. We have been preparing for the match and we are injury free,” he said.