AN appetiser of what is in store when the 2016 Premier Soccer League starts in April will be on show when city rivals Highlanders take on fresh from battle Chicken Inn in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Charities Shield contest set for Sunday at Babourfields Stadium.
Bosso are the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Charities Shield holders while the bruised Gamecocks are smarting from a CAF Champions League exit after they went down 2-0 to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in Mzansi last Saturday.
“It’s a derby match which will help us work on our weaknesses. We are still in the pre-season and our coaches have been afforded a chance to further work on player combinations. Chicken Inn are a good side which we cannot afford to underrate,” said Bosso captain Felix Chindungwe.
Chicken Inn are likely to field their fringe players amid revelations by their coach Joey Antipas that he has given some of his key players a two-week break.
Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, central defender Lawrence Mhlanga, attacking winger Edmore Chirambadare and striker Moses Demera, who were with the national team at last month’s Chan tournament in Rwanda will be rested by Gamecocks.
Also taking a break is captain Danny Phiri who said the match will also help them to prepare for the forthcoming season which starts on 2 April.
“We started our preparations for the season early but we cannot say we are done. The Sunday game also comes in handy for us. It presents us with a perfect opportunity to bag medals. Pride will also be at stake since it will be a derby match,” said Phiri.
Both Dynamos and ZPC Kariba fielded full strength teams, a sign of intent for both coaches as they sought to gain the early initiative ahead of what could be an unpredictable season.
The other Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Charities Shield matches will see FC Platinum play host to Kelvin Kaindu’s How Mine at Mandava Stadium.
CAPS United will lock horns with the country’s CAF Confederations Cup representatives Harare City at Rufaro Stadium.
Harare City went through to the Caf Confederations Cup first round after thumping AS Adema of Madagascar in their own backyard last Sunday.
The Sunshine Boys had to fight from behind after an early scare which saw the home side taking a first-half lead.
But goals from Raphael Manuvire, Edwin Madhananga and Kudakwashe Kumwala ensured Taurai Mangwiro’s charges progress 6-3 on aggregate having won the first 3-2 in Harare two weeks ago.
Caps United vs Harare City (Rufaro), FC Platinum vs How Mine (Mandava) , Highlanders vs Chicken Inn (Barbourfields)