Double treat for Byo. . . legend Mwaruwari starts coaching

The Chronicle

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FOOTBALL fans in Bulawayo are in for a two-day treat when Castle Lager Premier Soccer League leaders Chicken Inn host rejuvenated Manica Diamonds at Luveve Stadium this afternoon, before Bulawayo Chiefs cap the weekend with a clash against Ngezi Platinum Stars tomorrow.

Both matches have what appears to be the best ingredients for some brilliant football, as the four sides pride themselves in exhibiting scintillating displays.

In the Chicken Inn-Manica Diamonds tie, the battle for either side is to collect maximum points to keep their championship hopes on track, while the Bulawayo Chiefs and Ngezi Platinum Stars’ match is about “new brooms” trying to sweep clean.

Bulawayo Chiefs have re-engaged Thulani Sibanda following a string of poor results, while Warriors’ legend Benjani Mwaruwari starts his first topflight coaching job with Ngezi Platinum Stars, in a set-up that has experienced gaffer Bongani Mafu as his assistant and former national team player Tinashe Nengomashe as team manager.

Chicken Inn, who top the league table with 22 points, four ahead of fourth-placed Manica Diamonds, will be out to extend their lead to six points over second-placed Dynamos and Triangle United, who are tied on 19 points and play tomorrow.

DeMbare will be home to Black Rhinos, while Triangle United entertain Highlanders at Gibbo Stadium.

The Gamecocks, who haven’t dropped a point at home this season, winning all their five matches played at Luveve, are coming from a morale-boosting 2-0 away win at Ngezi Platinum Stars, will want to add Manica Diamonds to their list of casualties.

Goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, who has conceded four goals in nine matches, defenders Passmore Bernard, Moses Jackson, Itai Mabhunu and Xolani Ndlovu, midfielders Richard Hachiro, Shepard Mhlanga and Brett Amidu, as well as forward Brian Muza are expected to carry the day for Chicken Inn.

On the other end, Manica Diamonds have experienced players in the form of ex-Chicken Inn defender Liberty Chakoroma,Themba Ndlovu, Ticha Mabvura and Xolisani Moyo, as well as former Ngezi Platinum Stars’ Nyasha Chintuli, Collins Dhuwa and Pasca Manhanga to stand Chicken Inn’s heat.

Tomorrow, Bulawayo Chiefs seek to end their winless streak against Ngezi Platinum Stars, whose new technical team will want to kick-off on a high note.

Bulawayo Chiefs last registered victory on February 13 when they beat champions FC Platinum 2-0.

The Ninjas have faced Ngezi Platinum Stars four times, winning once, 2-0, in 2018 and losing three other games.

Besides fighting to end their winless streak, ending Ngezi Platinum Stars’ dominance over them will further boost their self-belief to climb on the table.

Bulawayo Chiefs are on position 12 with nine points, just three points above the relegation zone.

Fringe national team striker Perfect Chikwende returns to the Bulawayo Chiefs squad after missing his team’s last two defeats to Harare City and Black Rhinos through suspension.

Stocky forward Obriel Chirinda, attacking midfielder Mthokozisi Msebe, skipper Marlvin Mkolo as well as defensive midfielders Lucky Ndlela and Kelvin Madzongwe are the players to watch from Bulawayo Chiefs.

Ngezi Platinum Stars have experienced players in Denver Mukamba, Polite Moyo, Last Jesi, Bruno Mtigo and goalkeeper Nelson Chadya to bank on.

Bulawayo City, smarting from a 1-3 home defeat to Triangle United, travel to Mutare to face Cranborne Bullets at Sakubva Stadium this afternoon.

Cranborne Bullets edged Whawha 3-2 last weekend.


Today: Chicken Inn v Manica Diamonds (Luveve), Yadah v Herentals College (Baobab), FC Platinum v Whawha (Mandava), Cranborne Bullets v Bulawayo City (Sakubva), ZPC Kariba v Harare City (Nyamhunga)

Tomorrow: Bulawayo Chiefs v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Luveve), Triangle United v Highlanders (Gibbo), Tenax v Caps United (Sakubva), Dynamos v Black Rhinos (National Sports Stadium)

P    W    D    L    F    A    GD    Pts
Chicken Inn    9    7    1    1    14    4    10    22
Dynamos    9    6    1    2    11    3    8    19
Triangle United    9    6    1    2    15    8    7    19
Manica     9    5    3    1    18    8    10    18
Ngezi Platinum    9    4    3    2    13    5    8    15
Caps United    9    3    5    1    14    10    4    14
Herentals    9    4    2    3    12    13    -1    14
FC Platinum    9    3    4    2    10    6    44    13
Black Rhinos    9    3    4    2    10    6    4    13
Highlanders    9    3    3    3    10    5    5    12
Harare City    9    2    4    3    6    7    -1    10
Bulawayo Chiefs    9    2    3    4    6    8    -2    9
Tenax    9    2    3    4    7    16    -9    9
ZPC Kariba    9    1    4    4    4    9    -5    7
Cranborne    9    1    3    5    7    14    -7    6
Bulawayo City    9    1    3    5    7    17    -10    6
Yadah    9    0    5    4    3    9    -6    5
Whawha    9    1    2    6    9    27    -18    5

Article Source: The Chronicle

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