Highlanders gun for revenge

16 Nov, 2018 - 00:11 0 Views
Highlanders gun for revenge Madinda Ndlovu

The Chronicle

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
AVOIDING back-to-back defeats and exacting revenge is what Highlanders will be gunning for when they take on giant killers, Bulawayo Chiefs, in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

Chiefs, who beat the top three sides in the league, champions FC Platinum, runners-up Ngezi Platinum Stars and Chicken Inn, also claimed the scalp of Bosso in the first round to earn the “giant killer” tag.

The relegation threatened Chiefs beat Bosso 1-0 in the first leg courtesy of a well struck freekick by midfielder Gracious Muleya on June 10.

Highlanders coach, Madinda Ndlovu, who is aiming for a positive finish to the 2018 season, described Chiefs squad as “most dangerous” since they have no big names and play as a unit.

“I can’t recall one prominent name in the Bulawayo Chiefs team. It’s not like playing FC Platinum whose players we know. Those same players at Bulawayo Chiefs are the most dangerous because we are playing against people we don’t know. However, we will be ready for the game,” Ndlovu said.

The Highlanders gaffer, who has seen Chiefs also claiming the City of Kings bragging rights after beating all the Bulawayo sides including Chicken Inn and Bulawayo City, wants revenge on Sunday.

“We are very much aware that Bulawayo Chiefs are silent killers who’ve humiliated all big teams in Bulawayo. But we also try to stick to our principles which say we don’t want a team to beat us back-to-back. So far this season we’ve got only two teams, ZPC Kariba and Ngezi, that have succeeded in beating us back-to-back. But we still want to fight for our goals not to lose back-to-back and therefore the game is not going to be taken lightly.

“It’s a serious game in many ways, one in terms of us wanting to finish in a better position and secondly, we have to register our revenge against them. We are looking at fielding our strongest side,” said Ndlovu.

The Highlanders gaffer’s declaration is a clear indication that they will not have mercy for Chiefs who are hard-pressed for a win to guarantee themselves another Premiership dance.

Chiefs, with 38 points from 32 outings, are on position 13, two places above the last relegation slot occupied by Nichrut who are on 33 points.

With two games left, Nichrut can spring a shocker and survive the chop in the event that Chiefs lose to Highlanders and ZPC Kariba in their last game of the season.

Nichrut on the other hand are in dire need of maximum points, knowing that Sunday’s defeat against Triangle United who are still celebrating the Chibuku Super Cup win will effectively end their Premiership dance.

Nichrut host Dynamos in their last game of the season.

Chapungu, who are a place above Nichrut with 37 points, can secure their 2019 Premiership slot by beating Yadah at Ascot Stadium on Sunday and render their last match of the season against Caps United a dead rubber.

PSL Matchday 33 Fixtures
Tomorrow: FC Platinum v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Mandava), Herentals v Chicken Inn (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo City v Caps United (Barbourfields), Harare City v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro).

Sunday: Bulawayo Chiefs v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Mutare City (Rufaro), Triangle United v Nichrut (Gibbo), Black Rhinos v Shabanie Mine (National Sports Stadium), Chapungu v Yadah (Ascot).

Table

P W D L F A GD Pts
FC Platinum 32 23 5 4 51 14 37 74
Ngezi Platinum 32 20 5 7 50 22 28 65
Chicken Inn 32 15 10 7 41 25 16 55
Triangle United 32 16 4 12 38 30 8 52
Caps United 32 12 11 9 33 26 7 47
Highlanders 32 13 8 11 31 27 4 47
Herentials 32 12 11 9 24 24 0 47
Harare City 32 10 16 6 27 25 2 46
**ZPC Kariba 32 12 11 9 28 26 2 44
Black Rhinos 32 10 13 9 36 30 6 43
Dynamos 32 10 11 11 26 32 -6 41
Yadah FC 32 9 12 11 32 39 -7 39
Bulawayo Chiefs 32 9 11 12 27 32 -5 38
Chapungu 32 9 10 13 27 34 -7 37
Nichrut 32 8 9 15 28 36 -8 33
Bulawayo City 32 7 5 20 27 42 -15 26
Mutare City 32 5 7 20 22 50 -28 22
Shabanie Mine 32 2 14 16 24 56 -31 19

**Three points deducted for use of a suspended player — @ZililoR

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