Harare City out to stop FC Platinum

HARARE - Sitting on a five-game winless streak and faced with injury problems, Harare City have all to do this afternoon when they host reigning champions and current log leaders FC Platinum in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Rufaro Stadium.

The trio of goalkeeper Ryan Harrison, defenders Ray Uchena and Hastings Chapusha are all doubtful for this afternoon’s clash after being withdrawn just 24 hours before last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs after suffering different ailments.

Harrison is under the weather with Uchena struggling with a groin injury while Chapusha has a knee problem.

The development comes as a huge setback for Mark Harrison’s charges, who are desperate for maximum points following four draws and a loss in their last outings, which has left them seventh on the log table with 32 points from 22 matches.

Despite the drawback, Harrison is putting up a brave face and wants his charges to turn around the corner starting with this tough tie against the reigning champions, who sit at the top of the table with 52 points, four ahead of second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars.

“We are going into the game at the back of a loss and not winning in the past five games, so if you are betting you will obviously put your money on FC Platinum,” Harrison said.

“But we have to be positive going into the game. We know that they are the champions and a big team but we have to go there and match them up and see what we can get.
Football is a strange game; we can come back from this (defeat) and get a win on Wednesday (today).” 

Harrison, who set a 40-point mark for his charges in an effort for a top eight finish at the end of the season, feels while his charges are playing a good brand of football, they need to develop a killer instinct in front of goal to finish off their opponents.

“We look like we are lacking some bit of guile. We are passing the ball around well but we are lacking intensity, we are lacking enough in the final third and the desire to go and get a goal and finish it off something we need to think and work on,” said Harrison.

“We have to try and turn that poor run. I think the players need to shape up a little bit more. We just need to try and change the mindset.

“We set the standard in the first half of the season and since we came back for the second half of the campaign we have dropped that standard.

“I’m not pleased about that because we are better than that.

“We are much better than what we have been these previous five matches and we need to get back to that level and the sooner we do it the better.

“If we are not on that level against Platinum we will end up getting a hiding so we need to make sure we up our game on Wednesday (today).

For FC Platinum they will be hoping to build on their newly-found form having picked up two straight wins in their previous matches.

In the reverse fixture played at Mandava Stadium earlier this year, FC Platinum emerged with a 3-1 victory.


Fixtures:

Today: Harare City v FC Platinum (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Mutare City Rovers (Luveve), Chapungu v Black Rhinos (Ascot), Yadah v Dynamos (National Sports), ZPC Kariba v Nichrut (Nyamhunga), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Shabanie Mine (Baobab), Bulawayo City v Herentals (Barbourfields)

Tomorrow: CAPS United v Triangle United (Rufaro), Highlanders v Chicken Inn (Barbourfields)
Saturday: Herentals v Chapungu (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Bulawayo Chiefs (Mandava)

Sunday: Mutare City Rovers v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Vengere), Nichrut v Yadah (Ascot), Chicken Inn v ZPC Kariba (Luveve), Black Rhinos v Harare City (National Sports), Shabanie Mine v Highlanders (Maglas), Dynamos v CAPS United (Rufaro), Triangle United v Bulawayo City (Gibbo)

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