Defending champions, FC Platinum are desperate to collect maximum points when they take on tricky side, Bulawayo Chiefs, one of the three teams that have conquered them so far this season.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
The match will be played at Mandava Stadium and FC Platinum know that it’s a potential banana skin having been slayed in the reverse fixture.
Bulawayo Chiefs have already beaten Ngezi Platinum Stars and Highlanders.
FC Platinum are seeking to maintain pole position on the log table, following a forgettable midweek trip to the capital, where they were handed their third defeat of the season by Harare City.
They remain at the summit of the log with a one-point advantage over Ngezi Platinum and today Chiefs will be looking to throw more spanners in the works.
Chiefs were the first team to defeat FC Platinum in the reverse fixture played in April.
This presents another testing time for the platinum miners in their title tussle with Ngezi who make a trip to Rusape tomorrow for a date with Mutare City Rovers.
Addressing a Press conference in Zvishavane yesterday, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza admitted that his side was under pressure, but maintained confidence that they will be the eventual winners.
“There is massive pressure, I think in 2016 we were in the same position with five games to go before the season ended, then we lost to Harare City in turn surrendering top spot to Caps United,” Mapeza said.
“We ended up finishing second. This season, it is a different situation because we are focused and united, which is the best for us at this stage. We know the challenges not only with big teams, but everyone in the league. All the games will bring different challenges but we will pull through to the end. I am glad we have a fully fit squad without injuries and it’s now left to those that will be selected for the match against Bulawayo Chiefs to deliver,” he said.
On paper, FC Platinum have a very strong squad, but Bulawayo Chiefs have proved to be giant killers this term.
The championship-winning coach has called on his charges to respond after dropping points against the Sunshine City Boys.
“It’s a massive game for us, we all know what happened during the first half of the season and I think they started the second half well and we know the challenge.
“We have to respond after dropping points in Harare, so we just hope everything goes well for us to get maximum points.
“We have been in this situation before, where there is a point difference between us and the number two on the log, but all we need here is belief, confidence, remaining united and focused until the end of the season.”
Mapeza’s charges have been blowing hot and cold in the second half of the season, where they have already lost two matches.
On the other hand, Bulawayo Chiefs coach Garthly Chipuka will be looking forward to continue with the winning momentum, having won his last two encounters against Harare City and Mutare City.