Top-drawer clash: Chicken Inn take on FC Platinum

Rahman Gumbo

Rahman Gumbo

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER champions Chicken Inn face a stern test when they clash against FC Platinum in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane tomorrow.

Chicken Inn displaced Ngezi Platinum Stars at the top of the table on Wednesday by outclassing defending champions Caps United 3-1 at Luveve Stadium.
With 38 points from 19 games, the GameCocks sit one point above Ngezi and three points above FC Platinum.

Holding onto the top spot is what Chicken Inn intend to do and coach Rahman Gumbo is confident of getting maximum points tomorrow.

“All we want is to grind a result and we don’t mind how we do that. We’re going to Zvishavane with one thing in mind, a victory. It won’t be an easy game, but we are confident of getting our desired result,” said Gumbo.

Chicken Inn will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to five games. The last time the former champions lost a match was on July 1 when they fell 0-2 to Chapungu in Gweru.

They return to the Midlands tomorrow having collected 10 out of 12 points from their last four games, a 0-0 draw with Dynamos, identical 1-0 wins over Bantu Rovers and Bulawayo City as well as the 3-1 victory over Caps United.

Chicken Inn will be banking on their defence comprising Passmore Bernard, Guide Goddard, Moses Jackson and Divine Lunga, who have been watertight.

They have conceded eight goals from 19 outings.

Midfielders Clemence Matawu and Christopher Samakweri, attacking midfielder Collins Dhuwa, strikers Obidiah Tarumbwa and Darryl Nyandoro have to be in form to secure maximum points.

FC Platinum will be hoping to register their fourth consecutive win to avoid slipping in the tightly contested title race.

Chicken Inn will have to keep a close eye on FC Platinum’s attackers Charles Sibanda, Mkhokheli Dube, Ali Sadiki and Rodwell Chinyengetere.

The battle is likely to be won and lost in midfield where Chicken Inn have Matawu, Samakweri, Brian Juru and Innocent Mucheneka, while FC Platinum will pin their hopes on Winston Mhango, Brett Amidu, Sadiki and Chinyengetere.

While FC Platinum and Chicken Inn lock horns in Zvishavane, another potentially explosive encounter is on the cards in Bulawayo where second-placed Ngezi take on How Mine at Luveve Stadium tomorrow.

The gold miners are in fifth position, tied on 33 points with fourth-placed Dynamos.

How Mine trail Chicken Inn by five points and are hard-pressed for victory to keep their title hopes alive.

On Sunday, Highlanders play host to Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium, while Caps United will be hoping to end their five-match winless streak in the Premiership when they take on ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium.

Caps find themselves in the unfamiliar relegation zone and need to get their act together to avoid a possible chop.

Second from the bottom Bantu Rovers are away to Triangle United, one of the two sides they have collected maximum points against.

Rovers beat Triangle 1-0 in the first half of the season and also clobbered Yadah FC 7-2.

Triangle are ninth with 25 points. The Lowveld side has been blowing hot and cold and lost 1-2 to Dynamos in Harare and will be hoping to recover by beating Rovers.

Triangle beat Chapungu 2-0 in their last home game, while Rovers are smarting from a 0-1 loss to FC Platinum despite putting up a spirited performance.

Fixtures

Tomorrow: Bulawayo City v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields), Yadah FC v Tsholotsho FC (Morris Depot), How Mine v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Luveve), FC Platinum v Chicken Inn (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Dynamos (Rufaro)

Sunday: Highlanders v Harare City (Barbourfields), Caps United v ZPC Kariba (National Sports Stadium), Triangle v Bantu Rovers (Gibbo)

Table
P    W    D    L    F    A    GD    Pts

Chicken Inn    19    12    2    5    20    8    12    38

Ngezi Platinum    19    11    4    4    33    18    15    37

FC Platinum    18    9    8    1    18    8    10    35

*Dynamos    17    10    3    4    25    16    9    33

How Mine    19    9    6    4    15    12    3    33

Black Rhinos    18    9    4    5    23    14    9    31

Highlanders    18    9    4    5    20    15    5    31

ZPC Kariba    19    8    5    6    19    16    3    29

Triangle United    19    6    7    6    18    19    -1    25

*Chapungu    18    6    6    6    13    13    0    24

Shabanie Mine    19    5    7    7    13    16    -3    22

Harare City    19    5    6    8    13    14    -1    21

Bulawayo City    18    6    3    9    18    22    -4    21

Yadah FC    19    5    5    9    15    22    -7    20

Hwange    19    4    5    9    15    24    -9    17

Caps United    13    3    5    5    17    16    1    14

Bantu Rovers    19    2    3    14    18    39    -21    9

Tsholotsho FC    19    0    7    12    9    30    -21    7

*match abandoned — @ZililoR.

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