Top-of-the-table clash as Ngezi hosts Bosso

HARARE - It's only seven games into the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership but today’s clash between log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and second-placed Highlanders has a huge bearing on the title race.

Ngezi and Bosso have started the new campaign with a lot of promise as they are yet to taste defeat thus far.

Madamburo have six wins under their belt following victories over Herentals, Triangle, Dynamos, Nichrut, Chicken Inn and Mutare City Rovers.

The only time Tonderai Ndiraya’s side dropped points was when they drew 1-1 away to Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium earlier this month. After this good run, Madamburo have amassed 19 points.

Highlanders have been the surprise package of the new season as they have punched above their weight when many expected them to struggle.

Upon taking over the side from Dutchman Erol Akbay, Madinda Ndlovu moved in to overhaul the entire Bosso squad.

Ndlovu showed the exit door to the aging stars like Ralph Matema, Eric Mudzingwa, Simon Munawa, Tendai Ngulube and Njabulo Nyoni.

The former Bosso forward opted to trust the club’s development program and his team is now centred on the young players like Adrian Silla, Brian Banda and Ozias Zibande.

Highlanders come into today’s top of the table clash with five wins after defeating Black Rhinos, Herentals, Dynamos, Shabanie Mine and Nichrut.

The Bulawayo giants only dropped points when they were held to draws by Triangle and Chicken Inn.

Bosso are now on 17 points and trail Ngezi Platinum by only two going into today’s match.

A win for Ndlovu’s side will see Bosso go top of the table for the first time this season.

However, the Bulawayo giants have a number of their key players injured and are doubtful for this game.

Midfielders Ben Musaka and Nigel Mukumbe, as well as defender Bukhosi Ncube and Honest Moyo are all down with injuries.

Forwards Zibande and Thabo Lunga are also doubtful for today’s trip to Baobab Stadium which has left Ndlovu in a fix.

“We have a job ahead of us and we are very much aware of the good run that Ngezi Platinum have shown so far,” Ndlovu said ahead of today’s encounter.

“With the players that we have got although, we are not going to be as smooth as we would have loved to be, we still have capable players who can do well for the team.

“I’m sure these boys can do duty and it is time to prove that they can start. Tactically, I think the boys will come to the party.”

Since Ngezi Platinum’s promotion into the top flight, Bosso have visited Baobab Stadium twice.

Upon their first visit in 2016, Highlanders emerged with an emphatic 1-4 win when Ngezi were still trying to find their feet amongst the big boys.

Last season, Ngezi Platinum were irresistible on their way to a 3-0 win which could have been higher if they were clinical in front of goal.

Ndiraya is fully aware that his side’s near perfect start to the new season will come under scrutiny from today’s visitors.

However, Madamburo will take confidence from the fact that they have now gone for 27 league games without a defeat at Baobab Stadium.

The platinum miners have won 21 and drawn six games during that terrific run which stretches back to August 2016.

“The Highlanders match is going to be a big game for us and you always want to go into such games with a good motivation and I think the Mutare City game is a good motivating factor for our next encounter,” he said.

“I’m sure we will get into the Highlanders game with a good frame of mind and play better than we did against City.”

Today: Mutare City Rovers v FC Platinum (Vengere), Black Rhinos v Bulawayo Chiefs (Rufaro), Herentals v Harare City (NSS), Nichrut v CAPS United (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Yadah (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Highlanders (Baobab), Shabanie Mine v ZPC Kariba (Maglas).

Sunday: Dynamos v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), Triangle United v Chapungu (Gibbo).

Comments (1)

asifuni bumbulu,ibosso lenkani,iteam yelizwe lonke

ginyambila - 28 April 2018

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