FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is wary of the threat posed by Caps United despite the Green Machine’s current poor form ahead of their castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash at Mandava Stadium tomorrow.
Lloyd Chitembwe’s side has gone six matches without a win, slowly gliding closer to the teams that are engaged in the relegation dogfight, having lost their way following a promising start to the campaign.
Caps have picked just three points from their last six matches with draws against Black Rhinos, ZPC Kariba and Triangle while they lost to Ngezi Platinum Stars, Manica Diamonds and Herentals over the period.
FC Platinum have not been much better either as they have been, struggling for consistency with the two sides separated by four points going into the much-anticipated clash.
It is a clash between two sides that like to play an open game and it is likely to thrill as much as their previous clashes.
The Zvishavane-based side badly needs the points as it is slowly slipping out of the title matrix and into the mid-table zone of irrelevance.
They have only won one of their last eight outings when they handed Highlanders their first defeat after a scintillating display which triggered optimism that the platinum miners were back to their best.
But they went on to share spoils with struggling Bulawayo Chiefs at the weekend.
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Mapeza is hoping and praying his men utilise home advantage at Mandava Stadium.
In their last match, the two drew 1-1 at the National Sports Stadium, but Caps United’s last visit to Mandava for a clash against FC Platinum was nightmarish after they were drubbed 3-0.
“In terms of our preparations, we can't complain. Everyone knows where we are coming from and what we are trying to achieve. It's not going to be an easy game for us. Caps United have not been getting the desired results of late but they are really a quality side,” Mapeza said.
He went on to praise his friend Chitembwe.
“Lloyd (Chitembwe) is good. I know him, he is passionate about football. So it's not going to be easy for us but what is important is for us to carry all the positives we had in the last match against Bulawayo Chiefs. We did well despite us not getting all points. It's very important to pick up from the positives and see how best we can use them.”
Mapeza wants to see his side put a sequence of at least four wins on the bounce.
“What is important for us is to talk about it and at least pick up maximum points in four consecutive games. Our chances are still 50/50 but now we have to win especially at home. We always lose in Bulawayo but it’s always good to come back with a point,” Mapeza said.
FC Platinum will be without the injured Gift Bello and Hagiazo Magaya who is suspended after accumulating three consecutive yellow cards.