Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BOTTOM of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League teams, Bulawayo Chiefs and Yadah clash this afternoon at Luveve Stadium, with either side hoping to record their first victory of the season.
The possibility of getting a first set of maximum points is likely to be a motivating factor for the two sides as they hope to turn their fortunes around in their quest to fight relegation in the early stages of the season.
Pointless Chiefs anchor the table having played four games, while Yadah are second from the bottom with two points from five outings.
Chiefs trainer Thulani Sibanda is confident that they will find their spark this afternoon, adding that the club, who earned the “giant killers” tag last season after flooring champions FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Chicken Inn and Highlanders, are not pressing panic buttons.
The Bulawayo side, who are in their second Premiership season, have set themselves a target of six points from their next three games – Yadah, Harare City and Dynamos.
“Our focus is on the game against Yadah and the guys are responding well to training, meaning it’s only a matter of time before we get it right. Yadah are not safe like us, but we’re not reading much into their camp with our aim being to get a positive result. If you look at the two home games we’ve played (identical 1-0 defeats to TelOne and ZPC Kariba), we’ve just been unlucky in the final third.
“The good thing is that most of the players who had been injured are back in training, and we’re now working on a tactical approach having managed to work on players’ fitness levels. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and if we can get a positive result on Saturday, that will boost players’ confidence levels,” said Sibanda.
Chiefs’ influential players who are back from injury include speed merchant Farawu Matare, central midfielder Shepard Mhlanga, attacking linkman Clement Makamba, utility player Moses Majika, forward Nigel Papius and defender Felix Moyo.
Utility players Shadreck Nyahwa and Takunda Muzuva, midfielders Mengezi Dube and Lucky Ndlela as well as young Brandon Mpofu are some of the players expected to carry the day for Chiefs.
Yadah, to their credit, have two points from the 2-2 draw against Herentals and 0-0 draw with TelOne.
Players that are expected to carry the day for Yadah are goalkeeper Liberty Chirava, defenders Byron Madzokere and Brian Chikwenya, attackers Leeroy Mavhunga and former Highlanders’ striker Ralph Matema.
Third from the bottom Mushowani Stars take their act to Zvishavane’s Mandava Stadium where they will face Chapungu who are bubbling with confidence following last weekend’s 2-1 away win at Triangle United.
Newboys TelOne face a tough encounter against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium with both sides coming from draws.
Ngezi have a 100% home record, beating Mushowani 2-1 and Chicken Inn 1-0. The platinum miners have declared their interests in the championship, which means TelOne will have to be on top of their game if they are to disappoint the Mhondoro side.
TelOne have been good travellers, sharing the spoils against Herentals and Dynamos and beating Chiefs 1-0.
Match Day Six fixtures
Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Yadah (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum Stars v TelOne (Baobab), Black Rhinos v Triangle United (National Sports Stadium), FC Platinum v Herentals (Mandava)
Tomorrow: Dynamos v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro), Manica Diamonds v Chicken Inn (Gibbo), Chapungu v Mushowani (Mandava), Highlanders v Hwange (Barbourfields), Caps United v Harare City (National Sports Stadium)