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Bosso, GameCocks clash in Byo derby

Highlanders coach

Even with the league title seemingly out of reach for both Chicken Inn and Highlanders, there is all to fight for in the Bulawayo derby when the two teams clash at Barbourfields Stadium as they seek a second placed and a top four fish, respectively.

The GameCocks have dominated Highlanders in the past and the two sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the back-to-back fixture in May.

The Joey Antipas-coached side has won its last three games in the league against Manica Diamonds, WhaWha and Bulawayo City, while Highlanders have struggled with a win against Triangle, a draw with Cranborne and a defeat to FC Platinum last week.

Chicken Inn midfielder Malvin Gaki played a blinder in the 3-0 win over Bulawayo City at Barbourfields (BF) last Saturday, grabbing a brace and providing Malvin Whata with an assist, and Antipas will be hoping that he continues in that form in the likely absence of the club’s leading scorer Brian Muza, who is nursing a knee injury.

The GameCocks, on 54 points, are fighting to end the season as the league's runners-up, where they perch on position two on the log table under the challenge from Dynamos.

Highlanders slumped to position five on the log standings after the Platinum defeat but they are also campaigning for a top-four finish.

Coach Baltemar Brito is banking on the multitudes of Highlanders fans who usually throng Barbourfields Stadium.

“It’s a derby, but it’s a particular case in Zimbabwe football because they are a team without much history. They are a new team in the country but they have won the championship before and they are not crowd pullers for big derbies of the world. Of course it will be a difficult game but we know that we are playing at Barbourfields and we won’t have opposition supporters pushing down our team and that will be our advantage against them,” Brito said.

He hopes his boys will continue from where they left in the second half against FC Platinum last Sunday at BF.

“If we have a positive attitude and a strong mentality, we will do well because we will be playing on a pitch that we know very well; we are confident. That last game’s second half gave us a good feeling and we hope that translates into the Chicken Inn.”

Brito said Chicken Inn should watch out for Lynoth Chikuhwa, Devine Mhindirira and diminutive Ray Lunga.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo City continue in their quest to survive relegation when they clash with Bulawayo Chiefs in another derby at Luveve Stadium this afternoon.

Coach Farai Tawachera has not given up although his team looks doomed with just 24 points to its name.

“Derbies are always tricky. It is going to be a difficult game again. We need to be at our best if we are to entertain a chance of getting something from this game. We still believe we are in with a shout; 15 points to fight for, we will give it our best shot. It’s confidence levels in front of goal that is causing us to miss a lot of chances but we are playing well,” Tawachera said.

Chiefs are without coach Nilton Terroso who travelled back to Europe after his work permit expired.

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