Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
CHICKEN Inn will have to shrug off fatigue from travelling on matchday and come to party when they take on defending Castle Lager Premiership champions FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
It’s not the best arrangement for Chicken Inn to travel on matchday, as they need their players ‘fresh’, especially when playing against big teams like FC Platinum.
However, Chicken Inn failed to get lodgings in Zvishavane as they were told that all facilities are fully booked, leaving them with only one choice of travelling in the morning of matchday.
Joey Antipas has to psyche up his charges, hoping that they will arrive early in Zvishavane and have time to loosen up to avoid cramps.
FC Platinum are a real test to their championship ambition and they will be hoping to surprise the defending champions like they did in 2019 when they beat the platinum miners 2-1 in Zvishavane.
“Our preparations have gone well and everyone is available for selection. The only player out of this game is Clive Dzingayi, who is serving suspension after picking up a red card in our first game.
However, our main concern is that we’re travelling tomorrow morning, which isn’t ideal, but that’s what it is after failing to get accommodation in Zvishavane.
This will not affect us psychologically because we prepared with this in mind,” said Antipas.
The Gamecocks want to build from the opening day’s 1-0 win over Cranborne Bullets, courtesy of Munashe Pini’s goal.
FC Platinum, on the other hand, fired warning shots when they pummelled PSL debutants Tenax CS 6-1.
At Barbourfields Stadium, Bulawayo City hope to recover from their 0-5 drabbing by Ngezi Platinum Stars in Mhondoro by chocking Manica Diamonds, who hammered Whawha 4-0 in their opening game.
City coach Philani Ncube said they are going for three points.
“We are not targeting a high-scoring game, what we want are three points. We know we are facing a team that boasts of experience but we are ready for the task at hand,” said Ncube.
City will have to do without the injured striking pair of John Chinyerere and Mgcini Sibanda, who are nursing knee injuries picked up in training.
Nomadic striker Wisdom Mutasa has gone AWOL (absent without official leave) after training only twice in the past two weeks.
Goalkeeper Bhekimpilo Ncube, who dislocated a shoulder at Ngezi, has been ruled out for eight weeks. Defenders Shelton Sibanda and King Khumalo are nursing ankle injuries.
Rescheduled Matchday 2 fixtures
Today: FC Platinum vs Chicken Inn (Mandava), Yadah vs ZPC Kariba (Baobab), Herentals vs Black Rhinos (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo City vs Manica Diamonds (Barbourfields), Tenax CS vs Whawha (Sakubva)
Tomorrow: Highlanders vs Ngezi Platinum Stars (Barbourfields), Triangle United vs Dynamos (Gibbo), Caps United vs Harare City (National Sports Stadium)