HARARE – CAPS United captain Moses Muchenje is fully aware of the threat posed by Lesotho side Lioli FC in Saturday’s African Champions League preliminary round first leg clash.
Makepekepe travel to Maseru to take on Tse Nale at the Setsoto Stadium this weekend with the second leg set for the National Sports Stadium in Harare a week later.
Many United fans are expecting their side to steamroll past the Lesotho champions in this encounter but Muchenje has a different view.
“These games are very tricky. I just urge my teammates for maximum concentration. I know Lioli are a good team, they knocked out Bidvest Wits out of the same competition a few years back,” Muchenje said.
“I’m however positive that we are going to get a positive result.”
The Lesotho Premier League is now on its halfway stage in the 2016/17 season while Makepekepe go into this encounter without any competitive match practice since the local league is still on off season.
United had to gear up for this encounter against Lioli by playing friendly matches against foreign clubs.
Makepekepe first took on Mozambique champions Ferroviaro de Beria at home before going on a short tour of Zambia where they played against Zanaco and Red Arrows.
“In terms of fitness, I think it will be an advantage on their side but on our part we worked hard in enough during pre-season,” the Makepekepe skipper said.
“In our preparations, we worked hard in order to get a result on Saturday. We also went to Zambia to intensify our preparations and I think it really helped.
“On Saturday, we are going to implement all the things that we learned during our preparations in the pre-season.
“We are just hoping for a good result. A win or a draw will be better for us but we are just going there to play our normal game.
“We need to win the game because we have a good and great squad so we need to maximise on that.”
Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe said his side will be up to the challenge of competing on two fronts – in Africa and on the domestic scene.
“In terms of preparations, we have done that bit. The Players know the challenge at hand. One thing that I can see is their motivation to play at the highest level of the game,” Chitembwe said.
“I think that it is good enough to have such a spirit in the team. In as far as the game is concerned it is important for us to defend well and attack effectively. That is the kind of approach we are going to take.”
Makepekepe lost defender Stephen Makatuka, who signed for South African First Division side AmaZulu last month.
Chitembwe was pleased they managed to retain most of his players ahead of this season.
“The good thing is we still have the team intact and one individual has left. His contribution was immense but I think the most important thing is we retained most of the players,” he said.
“They are ready to do duty for the team again and I’m happy to see the improvement of in the team from last year to this year.”
The Makepekepe coach also praised his side’s trip to Zambia as it helped the team to bond ahead of the new season.
“Obviously the positive is that it afforded us with enough time to spend as a team. It was also quite beneficial to go to Zambia and I also thought the trip served its purpose” Chitembwe said.
“We wanted to bond as a team and I think we achieved exactly that.”
Meanwhile, Makepekepe yesterday unveiled their official kit which will be used in the 2017 season.
The kit supplied by local manufacturer Roar, will make its debut on Saturday in the match against Lioli FC in Maseru.