FOOTBALL followers in Mutare will be in for a treat this weekend when two of the Castle Lager Premiership table top teams – FC Platinum and Chicken Inn – make the long trip from Bulawayo and Zvishavane respectively for a date against Tenax C.S FC and Cranborne Bullets at Sakubva Stadium this weekend.
As the top-flight league action resumes this weekend after a fortnight mid-season break, the football extravaganza kicks off tomorrow (Saturday), with Harare soldiers, Cranborne Bullets entertaining Chicken Inn at Sakubva Stadium in a potentially explosive encounter where both teams will be out to fight for a different cause.
Cranborne Bullets are lying deep in the relegation zone on the 15th position, and the need to collect maximum points to evade relegation can never be over emphasized for the Nisbert Saruchera-coached outfit.
On the other hand, Chicken Inn are sitting on the summit of the log and their visit to Mutare will be nothing short of a mission to fortify their slender lead.
It is almost a similar scenario for Sunday’s encounter where Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum makes the long trip from the mining town of Zvishavane to date unpredictable Tenax C.S FC at Sakubva Stadium on Sunday.
After a slow start to the season, Pure Platinum Play have a realistic chance of retaining the Castle Lager Premiership title and any blunders by the log leaders might see Mapeza assuming pole position on the table for the first time this season.
Antipas reckons that the trip to Mutare is not easy at all.
“Sakubva Stadium is not an easy venue when you are a visiting team, apart from the usual discomfort of playing away from home. We just hope to get maximum points and keep the pressure on the title chasing pack.
“We are approaching the game against Cranborne Bullets just like all the other matches we have played so far in the season, but we are aware that we are in the second half of the season, hence the need to be more competitive in our approach,” he said.
The former Warriors gaffer said getting into the second half of the season presents a challenge for most teams given the pressure to collect points.
“Obviously most, if not all, teams in the league want to make sure that they maximise on home advantage as we get into the second half of the season. Cranborne Bullets will obviously want to make sure they evade relegation and that will complicate issues for us, but we remain confident of getting the result that we want,” said Antipas.
Mapeza said: “We are definitely coming to Mutare not for a holiday. We know it will not be easy, but we will give it our best shot and hopefully get what we want.”
Elsewhere in the league, Mutare-based Manica Diamonds are travelling to Midlands for a date against struggling Hwahwa C.S FC at Ascot Stadium in Gweru.