PREMIER League leaders Highlanders travel to Harare on Saturday determined to preserve their nine-match unbeaten run.
Kevin Kaindu’s men have won seven and drawn two in their best start to a league campaign in years, but they would do well to preserve their record against the 2010 champions at Rufaro.
Milton Ncube, who has weighed in with important goals for the Bulawayo club, will not be able to face his former paymasters due to injury while Bulls skipper and veteran goalkeeper Marlon Jani is out due to illness.
Motor Action – struggling to stay with the leaders – beat Highlanders twice last season but their coach Joey Antipas knows much has changed.
“Highlanders are the team to beat at the moment,” he says. “The longer their unbeaten run continues the harder it will be to stop them but I am hoping we will become the first team to beat them.”
Defeat for the Mighty Bulls will leave them 12 points off the pace, potentially 15 if Highlanders win their game in hand.
At Lafarge Stadium in Harare on Sunday, Dynamos will be aiming to bounce back from their 1-0 midweek defeat by Harare City when they meet bogey side Gunners.
Callisto Pasuwa received a vote of confidence from his chairman Keni Mubaiwa after the midweek defeat, but the coach could be set targets during a meeting called for Saturday morning.
Mubaiwa was accosted by fans after the Harare City loss.
He said on Thursday: “Those were not our supporters, but some hooligans who are paid to destabilise the team. What they did was very deplorable and I don’t think any right-minded supporter could do such a thing. I felt very embarrassed by their behaviour.
“We know of a plot by some individuals who are paying those hooligans to cause confusion in the team, but we will not allow that.
“They want us to fire Pasuwa, but that will not happen. We are in the middle of the season and there is no way we can have another coach to start over again at this stage. The team is fine but there are some few things that need to be rectified, and not the technical team.
“People should remember that he is the same coach who won us the league championship with that same squad, so for me he is still good enough.”
In other matches, second placed FC Platinum face Blue Rangers at Gwanzura on Sunday while CAPS United will be bidding to extend their unbeaten run to five matches when they face Buffaloes at the National Sports Stadium.
Harare City face Moses Chunga’s strugglers Black Mambas at Gwanzura while Chicken Inn have a date against Hwange, who are coming from a 4-1 home drubbing by Shabanie Mine.
Relegation candidates Quelaton and Hardbody clash at Luveve Stadium.
Quelaton will have their third coach of the season after appointing Philani Ncube to take over from Farai Sibanda.
Premier Soccer League Fixtures
Chicken Inn v Hwange (Luveve); Motor Action v Highlanders (Rufaro); Harare City v Black Mambas (Gwanzura)
Gunners v Dynamos (Larfarge); Quelaton v Hardbody (Luveve); Shabanie Mine v Monomotapa (Maglas); Blue Rangers v FC Platinum (Gwanzura), CAPS United v Buffaloes (National Sports Stadium)