PREMIERSHIP side Chicken Inn, who are level on points with leaders Highlanders but number two on the table due an inferiors goal difference, have a perfect opportunity to take pole position when they play Shabanie Mine at Luveve Stadium Friday.
The two teams are meeting for the third time this season after a 2-1 league win by Chicken Inn and 2-0 victory in the lucrative Banc ABC Sup8r by Shabanie Mine last Friday.
The match marks the start of what is set to be a dog eat dog second half of the season with boys being separated from men.
Chicken Inn are level on 29 points with Bosso and are a point ahead of reigning champions Dynamos and Harare City who are however in action later.
The Glamour Boys travel to the city to face How Mine at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.
On the other hand, Tshilamoya return home to square off against Caps United, one of the only two teams in the league with a 100 percent record in their last five matches.
Mandla Mpofu coached Chicken Inn could enjoy the lead for a week given that Highlanders have not been playing well of late.
Highlanders however have a record of unexpected rise and the 5-2 drubbing of Monomotapa is an example.
“Going on top of the log standings on Friday will definitely boost our confidence hence we are totally focused on getting maximum points,” said Mpofu.
He said they were in second position because of hard work and will continue working hard in order to consolidate their status as one of the best teams in the country.
Meanwhile, the self-appointed ‘Doctor of Football’, Luke Masomere predicted a bruising encounter as both teams are fighting for maximum points for different reasons.
“There will be quite a lot of things involved in this game. We are fighting relegation while Chicken Inn want the top spot – that alone is a recipe for a difficult game for both teams,” said Masomere.
With leading goal scorer, Tendai Ndoro who has scored 10 times, the home side will start the match as favourites.
Ndoro has been enjoying his game this season and with a bit of luck and composure could have reached the 15 goal mark in the first half.
“He might be feeling the pressure but as coaches we keep on encouraging him to remain composed as he has a chance to bang in more goals,” said Mpofu.Advertisement
With Thabani Goredema and Brian Juru out due to suspension, Chicken Inn have to juggle around with potential replacements in midfield that are supposed to supply balls to Ndoro Tendai Mukambi. This could see either Dion Homela or Kabby Kamhapa played as anchor-man.
In defence the Bulawayo side has probably one of the best defenders in stocky but fit Guide Goddard, national team defender Felix Chindungwe operating in the central defence while on the right flank there is young Tonisani ‘Yeboah’ Sibelo with Brian Mbiriri taking care of
business on the left flank.
The Chinda Boys, who are 12th on the standings with 17 points, will move to eighth position in the event of a win. An upset can never be ruled out given the fact that the mine team has such good players as Tarisai Rukanda, Pervington Zimunya and goalkeeper Victor Twaliki.
Friday: Chicken Inn v Shabanie (Luveve)
Saturday: Black Mambas v Triangle (Morris Depot), How Mine v Dynamos (Luveve), Harare City v Hwange (Rufaro)
Sunday: Buffaloes v Tripple B (Sakubva), Black Rhinos v FC Platinum (Rimuka Stadium), Motor Action v Monomotapa (Motor Action Stadium), Highlanders v CAPS United (Barbourfields)