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Highlanders, Caps clash


THE clock is ticking down to the start of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League with most teams getting their final work-outs this weekend ahead of the start of the new league campaign next week.


The big match of the weekend is at Barbourfields where Highlanders host Caps United in a Bob91 Super Cup play-off tomorrow.

Both Highlanders and Caps United would be reasonably satisfied with their respective campaigns so far, particularly the Green Machine who beat Dynamos last weekend, and would no doubt want to pull one ahead, against another big gun in Bosso before facing off in the league on Week Seven at Barbourfields Stadium.

The two teams’ meetings over the years have always proved a big occasion, the reason this match should not be a low-key affair as some might want to assume.

They are also both under new coaches, Mark Harrison for Caps United and Bongani Mafu for Highlanders and the two will obviously value the match as they try to get into their hearts of their respective sets of supporters.From the two coaches’ perspective, winning this game would render their sides’ huge impetus going into the new season, with a lot more ambitions and self-belief than what they exuded last season.

Harrison has been forced to split his team into two as he also has the Zambezi Cup in Malawi to defend this weekend, but as expected, he has sent fringe players to Blantyre while retaining all the superstars for tomorrow’s big match.

This weekend could actually prove significant for Caps as the Zambezi Cup will render the club an ideal opportunity to test out their fringe players, while Bosso test will make sure that their top players reach peak fitness going into the league campaign.

All the big names in the Caps squad, to go with the new acquisitions including Rodrick Mutuma, were involved in last weekend’s win over Dynamos, but were horribly short of match fitness and this should be the best chance to sharpen up before facing Whawha FC on the opening day of the league season.

“The match against Highlanders is also a highly competitive match. I can’t say I am prepared for the match on Sunday (tomorrow), but the players are getting to understand what I want and we will give it a shot against Highlanders,” said Harrison who could field former Highlanders stars Joel Ngodzo and Hilary Madzivanyika who trained with the team this week.

Former Highlanders coach Mark Mathe, now assistant at Caps United, is expected to face his former paymasters for the first time.

For Highlanders, they are faced with a daunting early season fixture and Mafu would no doubt be aiming to hit the ground running with a victory over the high fliers.

Highlanders begin their campaign with an away fixture against last season’s runners up ZPC Kariba which will be followed by an easy fixture away to Tsholotsho FC before facing Hwange and Buffaloes.

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