Antipas predicts tough battle

HARARE - Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas predicted a tough battle against reigning Castle Premiership champions Dynamos this afternoon at Barbourfields Stadium

The Gamecocks, who had an indifferent start to the 2014 season, will be hoping to maintain the form that saw them handing log leaders Hwange their first home defeat of the season last weekend.

Thomas Chimenya scored the solitary strike to settle the matters at the Colliery as the Bulawayo-based side seem to be picking up at the right moment.

After the indifferent start, the Gamecocks are now picking up points with some consistency and now sit seventh on the log with 19 points, three off log leaders Hwange and today’s opponents.

“They (Dynamos) are obviously a good team, well-organised,” Antipas told the Daily News yesterday.

“They are physically and mentally prepared well for the match. It will be a tough match for both of us. They are a big team with huge following and they would want to win at all costs.”

Generally, Chicken Inn have done well against Dynamos at home and last season the Harare giants had to come from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw at Luveve Stadium. 

Antipas feels his team’s mental approach will be key on their quest to stop DeMbare.

“We have to prepare at a higher intensity for this match and get the players ready to deal with pressure they are likely to face come the day of the match,” he said.

“They will be very motivated coming here and we need to make sure we are ready. We have to make sure we compete and perform to our highest level. Our approach should be right.”

The former Zimbabwe national football team assistant coach takes confidence from the way his team performed at the Colliery and with a similar approach they will be able to get a positive result against the Glamour Boys.

“You only had to look at the players in the changing room to know they will remain grounded,” he said.

“They were quietly pleased with the performance last week but they were not shouting from the rooftops. We recognised the challenges ahead and we will have to up our game to win.”

The Gamecocks will be without the services of midfielder Danny Phiri, who is on trials at South African side Polokwane City.

The Glamour Boys go into today’s match on the back of their morale boosting victory over Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium last weekend.

Striker Washington Pakamisa scored his first goal of the season in that 1-0 victory and he is likely to e fired up for this match.

Most reports have linked the DeMbare quartet of Stephen Alimenda, Devon Chafa, Augustine Mbara and Tafadzwa Rusike with a move away to South Africa.

The Glamour Boys, however, are not letting these reports distract them of the task at hand against the Gamecocks.

“We are preparing for our match against Chicken Inn at the weekend and everyone is looking forward to that game. Morale is high in camp. We hope the boys will not be distracted,” Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro told the Daily News.

“These things do happen, especially at this time of the season. We want to remain focused on the task at hand. We are reaching the crucial stage of the season and we can’t afford to lose players at this point in time.”

Today: FC Platinum v Buntu Rovers (Mandava Stadium, SS), ZPC Kariba v Chiredzi (Gwanzura Stadium), Harare City v Shabanie Mine (Rufaro Stadium), Chicken Inn v Dynamos (Barbourfields Stadium)

Tomorrow: Triangle United v How Mine (Gibbo Stadium, SS), Highlanders v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields Stadium), Buffaloes v Chapungu (Sakubva Stadium), CAPS United v Hwange (National Sports Stadium)

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