Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
CHICKEN Inn have won three league games on the trot, Highlanders are on a two-game bender, but football rarely follows a form guide, especially not in a local derby.
All statistics will count for nothing when the two sides battle for keys to the city. The setting for the battle to decide who owns the city is Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The occasion is even more special, the two sides will be facing each other for the 20th time in the league since the Gamecocks’ entry into the Premier Soccer League in 2011.
Chicken Inn have dominated Bosso, winning eight times, while Highlanders have only registered three victories while the Bulawayo teams have drawn eight times.
The last time Chicken Inn and Highlanders met in May, it ended 1-1. Brian Muza levelled matters for the Gamecocks after Godfrey Makaruse had opened the scoring for Amahlolanyama.
Form is one thing that cannot be read into when going into a derby.
The coaches have little input, it all goes down to the players. Normally, whoever rises to the occasion on the day wins.
Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas is fully aware of the fact.
“Our preparations have gone well for Sunday. We do not read into the past going into games of this magnitude. It’s all about now.
“Highlanders may not be on a good run but they are a formidable outfit especially when they play in front of their passionate fans at Barbourfields Stadium,” said Antipas.
The two time championship winning coach has some in-house concerns going into the game with Muza, who sat out the 3-0 drubbing handed out to Bulawayo City last Saturday still doubtful because of injury.
Muza is the league second leading goal scorer with 11 goals, four behind Caps United’s William Manondo, but a knee injury at training last Thursday forced him out of the clash with Bulawayo City.
“We are still monitoring our striker, Muza, who is nursing an injury. We will definitely not have Tafadzwa Kutinyu and Richard Hachiro. The latter is serving suspension.
“However, we will soldier on and we are confident that the guys who will be called for duty will do the job for us,” said Antipas.
The Gamecocks are 10 points behind leaders FC Platinum with 54 points with five games to go. Antipas has already thrown in the towel when it comes to winning the title.
He has however, declared that his side are targeting a second place finish.
The game will be live on ZTN Prime DStv Channel 294.
Meanwhile, PSL yesterday announced Barbourfields Stadium will host the final of the Chibuku Super Cup while Mandava Stadium will be the venue for the two semi-finals.
The semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup will take place on October 15/16 and the final on November 19.
Black Rhinos, Bulawayo Chiefs, Herentals and FC Platinum are four teams still in with a chance to win the Chibuku Super Cup.
FC Platinum won last year’s Chibuku Super Cup with a 5-3 on penalties win over Ngezi Platinum Stars when the match had concluded 0-0 after extra time at Mandava.
The Chibuku Super Cup is sponsored to the tune of US$375 000 by Delta Beverages.
Castle Lager Premier League Fixtures
ZPC Kariba v Manica Diamonds (Nyamunga Stadium), Tenax SC v Black Rhinos (Sakubva Stadium) Harare City v Ngezi Platinum (National Sports Stadium) Bulawayo Chiefs v Bulawayo City (Luveve Stadium), FC Platinum v Herentals (Mandava Stadium)
Chicken Inn v Highlanders (Barbourfields Stadium), Cranborne Bullets v Caps United (Vengere Stadium), Triangle v Yadah (Gibbo Stadium), Dynamos v Whawha (National Sports Stadium) — Follow on Twitter @innocentskizoe