BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM gaffer Norman Mapeza is anticipating a tough challenge against Triangle when the two teams clash in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
The three-time championship winner has warned his side to brace for a difficult match against the Lowveld side.
The reigning champions started their title defence on a high note, with a comfortable 2-0 win over Harare City, while Triangle also accounted for the scalp of Ngezi Platinum Stars.
The two sides’ last league meeting in Zvishavane ended in a goalless draw.
However, the platinum miners then triumphed 2-0 in the Castle Challenge Cup, but Mapeza is not reading much into their previous encounters, knowing Taurai Mangwiro’s tactical flexibility.
“Everyone is aware that we have drawn the last two matches we played against them (Triangle) here in Zvishavane. We have struggled against them except when we beat them in the Challenge Cup, but that is all in the past,” Mapeza said.
“But I think we are doing enough preparations and we must make sure that we get as many points as we can in the first games of the season.
“All the matches will not be easy. If you look at our game against Harare City, we had been struggling to get good results every time we went to Harare for the past three
“So, I cannot really say our match against Triangle will be the measure, but all the games will always demand one to give their best.”
Mapeza said they would retain the squad that beat Harare City last Friday, except for Lawrence Mhlanga, who was ruled out after picking an injury during training.
“We have been changing players, even in the Champions League, depending on what you want to achieve as a coach.
“But coming into this game, I don’t think there will be many changes in the squad because we need to have continuity in our team,” he said.
“The guys who played against Harare City did very well and my only worry is on those who picked injuries. We have Lawrence Mhlanga, who picked up a slight injury yesterday (Wednesday) morning and I think that will be the only change in the team.”
Mapeza also revealed that they were currently assessing three unnamed foreign players — two from Nigeria and one from Benin.
Former Chicken Inn forward Darryl Nyandoro is also trying his luck at the Zvishavane giants.