HIGHLANDERS coach Baltemar Brito reckons FC Platinum are favourites to retain the league title, but will be under pressure when the two sides clash in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
Brito faces the champions, a club that Highlanders have failed to beat in nine years, but is confident after his boys won at Black Rhinos in Harare last week.
“You guys know that they (FC Platinum) are favourites to be the champions; they are in the group of clubs that could be the champions. The guy (Norman Mapeza) has not put us in that group. This means so much, it means they are a strong team but we also have our strengths and we will fight to get the three points, so we will do our best. The pressure is on them and not on us,” Brito said.
Bosso lost 3-2 to FC Platinum at BF last year in October.
Highlanders go into the game with strikers Stanley Ngala, Washington Navaya, Lynoth Chikuhwa and Ray Lunga but it was not clear if they had succeeded in registering Calvin Chigonero.
Mckinnon Mushore found the net against Black Rhinos last week.
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“We will select the best 11 players at the moment because during the season there will be ups and downs in terms of performance. So, we will choose those players that are in good shape for the game and the time will come for the others to play,” Brito said.
Highlanders drew their first game against ZPC Kariba and beat Rhinos in the second.
Mapeza yesterday denied that he ruled Highlanders out of the championship race saying the Bulawayo giants were a big club.
“We are going to play a massive game on Sunday against Highlanders, one of the biggest clubs in the country. Look at their history and ours. You can only compare their history to Dynamos and Caps United. It’s a massive game and I am more than happy with our preparations and I know the challenge we will get when we get there. They always play good football. What is important for us is to go there with the same hunger, same desire and same confidence,” Mapeza said.
Mapeza said he was not reading much into yesteryear statistics.
“All games are always difficult. What is important is how we have started this marathon, but for now it is too early. It is just our third game of the season.
“We don’t go there with statistics on our mind. It is not for me to go and look for statistics. My focus is this coming game on Sunday,” he said.