BULAWAYO – Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu expects another tight contest when the Castle Premiership pacesetters date bottom-placed Quelaton in a Bulawayo derby at Barbourfields this Sunday.
Quelaton held Highlanders to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture and Kaindu expects the weekend encounter to be another closely-fought affair.
“We are now in the second half of the season and every team wants maximum points, so we expect a tough challenge from Quelaton,” Kaindu said.
“It may be a case of the top-placed team taking on the bottom team, but it will not be easy because the players know each other well,” Kaindu added.
The same sentiment was shared by Quelaton captain Innocent Kutsanzira.
“It is going to be a good game and it can go either way because derbies are unpredictable,” Kutsanzira said.
Milton Ncube and Eddy Nkhulungo were on target in last month’s derby, whose result must have given the Premiership debutants a glimmer of hope in their relegation battle.
The slippery Nkhulungo combined well with Kutsanzira to match the much hyped Highlanders central midfield combination of Mthulisi Maphosa and Peter Moyo. It will be interesting, therefore, to see how the Bosso midfield will cope without anchorman Maphosa, who is out through suspension.
Moyo is a former Quelaton player and Kutsanzira said while the dreadlocked Bosso midfielder is a personal friend of his there will be no love lost on Sunday.
“Rio is a good friend of mine but we will place our friendship aside when we face each other on Sunday and fight towards helping our respective teams achieve victory,” Kutsanzira said.
Asked to comment on Sunday’s game, Moyo promised fans a good game of football.
He said: “All I can say is that it will be a good game of football and we will try by all means to deliver the goods and come out tops.”
Highlanders will also be missing the services of striker Graham Ncube and fullback Atlast Musasa, who are also suspended while Quelaton will be without former Zimbabwe youth international Proud Zireni and goalkeeper Winston Chiwetu.
Quelaton have beefed up their squad by signing seasoned campaigners Ndumiso Khanye, Chipo Tsodzo and Peace Tshuma while Highlanders have added Cleopas Dube and Takunda Sadiki to their ranks.