HARARE – With all 18 Castle Lager Premiership teams in action this afternoon, Mandava Stadium will be the centre of attention where FC Platinum hosts Highlanders.
Although they have been in the top flight since 2011, FC Platinum have already developed a strong rivalry with Bosso with the matches between the two sides always turning out to be explosive encounters.
The platinum miners come into today’s match in third place on the log trailing leaders Ngezi Platinum Miners by just three points.
Norman Mapeza’s side are fully aware they desperately need to win today in order to keep pace with Ngezi Platinum.
The home side are on form coming into the match after two straight wins over Chicken Inn and Yadah FC.
In midweek, FC Platinum were inactive after their match was postponed since they were scheduled to face CAPS United, who had African Champions League commitments.
However, the platinum miners will be confident of collecting maximum points against a Highlanders side that has shown some inconsistency this season already.
Bosso have already dropped seven points in their last four matches after a draws with lowly side’s Chapungu and Harare City before last Thursday’s defeat to Chicken Inn.
The Bulawayo giants only win in recent weeks was against struggling neighbours Bantu Rovers.
Dutch coach Erol Akbay has chopped and changed his side in the hope to get the best out of his underperforming stars.
After the defeat to Chicken Inn, the Dutchman was disappointed with his side’s failure to put away the many chances they have created.
“Good play without scores is not good enough. We had a lot of chances that we created but we didn’t score,” Akbay said.
“It’s our second loss and we still have many games to play. We are not really worried.”
The Dutchman would be hoping for better finishing from his misfiring forwards of Prince Dube, Roderick Mutuma and Ralph Matema.
Log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars will be banking on their superb home form to put some gap between them and the chasing pack when they host Bulawayo City at Baobab Stadium.
Tonderai Ndiraya’s side have notched up four consecutive wins after victories over Shabanie Mine, Harare City, ZPC Kariba and Tsholotsho.
Madamburo have gone for 11 league games since August last year without a defeat at home and against Amakhosi they will be favourites to collect maximum points.
Bulawayo City will be confident of getting something out of the game since they arrive in Ngezi after two straight wins over Tsholotsho and Hwange.
Defending champions CAPS United hope to get their league campaign back on track when they travel to the Lowveld to face Triangle at Gibbo Stadium.
United have to play catch-up in the league due to their African Champions League commitments.
In the league, Lloyd Chitembwe’s side have only played six matches with their last encounter ending in defeat when they lost to ZPC Kariba a little over a week ago.
Makepekepe will be confident of getting maximum points at Gibbo since Triangle have not been at their best at home.
Their only win there this season came against How Mine last week as the venue seems to have lost its fear factor for visiting teams.
At the National Sports Stadium, Dynamos will be looking forward to make it two wins in a row when they host ZPC Kariba.
The Glamour Boys beat Harare City 1-0 on Thursday night with coach Lloyd Chitembwe saying after that the victory would be a turning point after an indifferent start to the season.
After two games without a victory, ZPC Kariba will be out to capitalise on an inconsistent DeMbare side that has been ponderous at times this season.
Ngezi Platinum v Bulawayo City (Baobab), Chapungu v Tsholotsho (Ascot), Dynamos v ZPC Kariba (NSS), Bantu Rovers v Harare City (Luveve, 1pm), Chicken Inn v Shabanie Mine (Luveve, 3pm), FC Platinum v Highlanders (Mandava), Triangle v CAPS United (Gibbo), Black Rhinos v Yadah (Morris Depot), Hwange v How Mine (Colliery).