HARARE – Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere believes his side’s “moment of truth” begins now starting with Friday’s clash against Chicken Inn at Luveve Stadium.
The Zvishavane-based side have struggled for form this season and are currently in a precarious position on the Castle Premiership log, sitting fifth from bottom with 17 points.
The season reached its half way mark last month with Shabanie losing 2-1 to the Gamecocks at Maglas Stadium and further losses from now on would spell doom for the asbestos miners.
The Chinda Boys will however, travel to Bulawayo for the reverse fixture high on confidence after knocking Chicken Inn out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup.
Friday’s encounter will be the third consecutive time inside three weeks the two teams meet making it an interesting match altogether.
“We need to start picking maximum points,” Masomere told the Daily News.
“Our main aim is to collect 21 points in the remaining 15 matches for us to survive relegation. If we can get those points and add them to what we have so far then we will be fine.
“We need to fight hard if we are to achieve our objective. But we just need to play our normal game. We don’t want to put ourselves under pressure. We are in a difficult league and there is no room for mistakes.”
Masomere added: “We discussed with the players about this game. They are aware of what is needed. We are definitely going for maximum points.
“We beat them in the BancABC Sup8r Cup and we are eager to beat them again.
“What I want to say is that football is interesting and people should come and enjoy the game.”
Shabanie will be missing the services of influential left back Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, who is suspended after accumulating three yellow cards.
Peter Muzondo is likely to replace the defender.
The Gamecocks positioned themselves well for the championship fight after leaping to second place on the table.
A win or a draw today means Mandla Mpofu’s men will enter the weekend in pole position on the log as they are currently tied on 29 points with Highlanders.
The Bulawayo side have been in good form and cannot be ignored in the title race after showing their pedigree.
The Gamecocks are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in the league which has been propelled by the form of their forward Tendai Ndoro, who is the Premiership’s leading scorer with 10 goals.
It will be interesting to see how the Gamecoks respond to their elimination from Sup8r Cup at the hands of the Chinda Boys.
Friday: Chicken Inn v Shabanie Mine (Luveve)
Saturday: Black Mambas v Triangle (Morris Depot), How Mine v Dynamos (Luveve), Harare City v Hwange (Rufaro)
Sunday: Buffaloes v Tripple B (Sakubva), Black Rhinos v FC Platinum (Rimuka), Motor Action v Monomotapa (Motor Action Sports Club), Highlanders v CAPS United (Barbourfields)