Defence headache for Antipas

HARARE - Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas has to come up with a makeshift defensive partnership for today’s Castle Premiership Bulawayo derby against Bantu Rovers at Luveve Stadium.

Antipas is without regular centre backs Charles Mutero and Ben Nyahunzvi, who are out with suspension and injury respectively.

In the duo’s absence, the Gamecocks coach has to rely on Moses Jackson, who normally plays as a full back, to come and partner Lawrence Mhlanga at the heart of the defence.

“We have both our regular centre backs out for the game and we still trying to tinker with the squad we have and come up with a new partnership,” Antipas told the Daily News yesterday.

“We have to go with Lawrence and Moses Jackson. While it will be a makeshift pairing, it’s all about the two having confidence in themselves that they can do the job.”

The Gamecocks will also be without midfielder enforcer Danny Phiri, who was away with the Zimbabwe national team in Tanzania.

Antipas said they will give Phiri a rest.

Chicken Inn have had an inconsistent start to the 2014 season, picking up only two wins with three draws and two loses.

The slow start has left Antipas’ men in 10th place on the log with only nine points from seven games.

The Gamecocks go into today’s match after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of fellow Bulawayo side How Mine a week ago.

“This has been a slow start compared to the previous Chicken Inn standards but we are still early in the new season and we are new combinations,” said Antipas.

Turning to today’s opponents, Antipas is well aware of the dangers posed by Tshintsha Guluva, who are having a topsy-turvy run on their return to the top flight.

Bantu are in 12th place with six points they gained from wins over How Mine and Chapungu United.

Methembe Ndlovu’s men have lost the other five matches and go into today’s derby on a poor run of three straight defeats.

“Although they have lost their last three matches, we must not be complacent,” said Antipas.

“Bantu have picked up some good results especially at Luveve which makes them a dangerous team to play against.

“Derbies can also be tricky affairs as both teams will be fighting for the bragging rights of the city.

“What we must do is try to get a good performance which reflects our true ability and collect maximum points.”

Today: Bantu Rovers v Chicken Inn (Luveve).

Tomorrow: How Mine v CAPS United (Luveve), Triangle v Buffaloes (Gibbo), Chapungu v Hwange (Ascot), Dynamos v FC Platinum (NSS), Black Rhinos v ZPC Kariba (Rimuka).

Thursday: Shabanie Mine v Chiredzi FC (Maglas), Highlanders v Harare City (Barbourfields).

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ORIGINAL - 20 May 2014

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