HARARE City coach Mark Harrison has predicted a tough duel, as they host log leaders, FC Platinum, in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Sunshine City Boys on Sunday suffered a dispiriting 1-0 defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs in their bid for a strong finish to the campaign.
Harare City had drawn their previous four matches before embarking on the trip to Bulawayo where they returned with tails behind their legs.
While acknowledging it would be a tough contest, Sunshine City Boys coach Harrison is looking forward to the match with optimism as he looks to recover from the weekend defeat.
“Obviously, this is going to be a tough match. We are meeting the champions and current log leaders. We are hamstrung, but we are going into the match with a positive mind, a positive attitude. We have to push for three points. We have to try and get maximum points,” Harrison said.
Harare City will be missing some of their key players among them goalkeeper Ryan Harrison who is sick, Raymond Uchena and Hastings Chapusha who are suffering from groin and knee injuries, respectively.
The Harare side, however, faces a team that is high on confidence after FC Platinum emerged huge beneficiaries of a stumble by Ngezi Platinum, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Chicken Inn at the weekend.
The Zvishavane-based side took advantage when they overcame Chapungu 2- 0 to open a four point lead at the top.
The victory took the Platinum miners’ points tally to 52 from 22 matches while closest challengers Ngezi Platinum fell four points off the pace after the draw against the Gamecocks.
With the championship race shaping up to be a contestation between the two platinum miners, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza will be looking to collect maximum points against Harare City as they hope to pull away from their nearest rivals.
However, the Wednesday fixtures appear to be kind to Ngezi Platinum. The Mhondoro-based side have what looks like a relative easy assignment than the log leaders as they host a limping Shabanie Mine.
The Zvishavane-based side are currently at the foot of the table with a paltry 15 points, having lost four of their last five matches including the weekend defeat to lowly Mutare City.
Ngezi will be banking on their home record where they have lost only to the log leaders thus far. After the draw against Chicken Inn, Ndiraya will be praying fervently that they post a win against Shabanie and FC Platinum stumble against Harare City.
Harare giants Dynamos will be looking to build on their weekend victory over ZPC Kariba when they host Yadah FC.
The Glamour Boys, who had gone for four matches without a win since the start of the second half of the campaign, finally secured maximum points in a laboured 1-0 victory over ZPC Kariba at Rufaro on Sunday.
They now have 25 points and are in 13th position.
Lloyd Mutasa will be banking again on the returning trio of skipper Ocean Mushure and midfielders Denver Mukamba and Brett Amidu whose display breathed some life into the team bidding for a strong finish to the campaign.
Tomorrow; Harare City v FC Platinum (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Mutare City (Luveve), Chapungu v Black Rhinos (Ascot), Yadah v Dynamos (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Nichrut (Nyamhunga), Ngezi Platinum v Shabanie Mine (Baobab), Bulawayo City v Herentals (B/F),
Thursday; Caps United v Triangle (NSS), Highlanders v Chicken Inn (BF)