The clash between hosts, Mutare City Rovers and Ngezi Platinum Stars pits two sides on the opposite ends of the log table, with contrasting ambitions, but both teams’ dire need for maximum points sets up a potential thriller at Vengere Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Mutare City are embroiled in a relegation dog-fight as they currently sit nine points from safety while Ngezi are just a point off table-toppers FC Platinum.
Rovers have only managed three wins this season while Ngezi have been good both at home and away.
The home side will be looking to exploit their visitors’ weaknesses that they might have learnt in Ngezi’s four defeats.
The Mhondoro-Ngezi side has lost to Herentals, Black Rhinos, Bulawayo Chiefs and FC Platinum and Mutare City would have learnt that Tonderai Ndiraya’s side are not invincible.
Mutare City are still smarting from a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs in Bulawayo while Ngezi have a spring in their step after thrashing Shabanie 5-1 in the midweek.
The home side’s striker Brian Chinhoyi has been ruled out of the match.
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“This is going to be a tough match for us, but we are treating the match just like any other match because we don’t want to put our players under unnecessary pressure,” Mutare City Rovers team manager Lyndon Kanyemba said.
“We are fighting relegation and we need to play our best game if we are to collect maximum points. We have been playing well, but have been unlucky in some of the matches, but we are hoping that we can get a favourable result in this one.”
Rovers are lying on 16th position with 15 points from 23 matches, while their opponents are on second position with 51 points from the same number of matches.
Ngezi will be looking to keep up pace with FC Platinum who play Bulawayo Chiefs tomorrow.
The Ndiraya-coached side has been in good form and they have dropped just two points in the last five matches where they scored 13 goals in the process.
That they lost their best marksman Terrence Dzvukamanja, who moved to South Africa, has been hardly visible as they have continued to score for fun.
They face a stern test, however, out of the comforts of their soft surface, to the hard patch of Vengere.