African Safari: Chicken Inn’s defining moment

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TOMORROW Chicken Inn FC and Harare City have a date with destiny when they host visitors Mamelodi Sundowns and AS Adema respectively in the African Safari.
Chicken Inn host the Brazilians in a Champions League preliminary round at Luveve Stadium, Bulawayo, while Harare City entertain Madagascan side AS Adema in the Confederation Cup at Rufaro Stadium, in Harare.
The Gamecocks won Zimbabwe’s sole Champions League ticket after being crowned 2015 league champions while City qualified as Chibuku Super Cup winners.
This will be the Gamecocks debut appearance in the African Safari. Their opponents are currently enjoying a purple patch in the ABSA premiership. They are currently on the apex of the log, enjoying a six-point lead.
The South African league is currently underway while Zimbabwe are on a season break, putting the Zimbabwean side at a disadvantage in the African Safari. Chicken Inn fitness-wise might not be at par with their opponents.
Chicken Inn’s tour of Zambia exposed the Bulawayo side’s shortcomings in defence.
Facing the pair of Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly, Joey Antipas needs to fine-tune his rear guard. The goalkeeping role is likely to be entrusted to Elvis Chipezeze.
Chicken Inn will do without new signing Teenage Hadebe who is nursing a knee injury. Passmore Bernard is likely to earn the right-back role while Moses Jackson and Divine Lunga might be the centre backs. Ben Nyahunzvi is another defence option together with Brian Mbiriri.
Captain Danny Phiri will be the defensive linkman. However, the Gamecocks will miss services of veteran attacking midfielder Clemence Matawu who is in the infirmary with a calf injury. Imposing Bhekimpilo Ncube is likely to be in the starting 11 tomorrow. The lanky former Highlanders midfielder is experienced and will win most midfield battles.
Upfront the Gamecocks will need the expertise of Obadiah Tarumbwa who can be partnered with Edmore Chirambadare while Michelle Katsvairo may be used as an impact substitute.
Meanwhile, Harare City hope to march past AS Adema at Rufaro.
Harare City have been playing friendlies against local teams. The recent match they played was against fellow municipal side Bulawayo City and won all the two matches 3-0 and 2-0.
William Manondo has been free-scoring this year. The former FC Platinum forward scored the only goal for Zimbabwe in Rwanda at the African Nations Championship against Uganda in the last group match.
City made numerous signings to beef up their squad. Striker Kuda Kumwala, midfielders Raphael Manuvire and Ronald Chitiyo are now part of the municipal side.
Mangwiro is likely to use Tafadzwa Dube’s pair of hands for the number one position. Themba Ndlovu and Arnold Chivheya are likely to partner in central defence.
Tendai Samanja and James Jam might be used as twin defensive linkmen while Manuvire and Chitiyo lead the City attack in the middle of the park.
Upfront, City have options in Martin Vengesayi, Francisco Zekumbawira and Kumwala, among others.
It remains to be seen tomorrow whether our representatives will raise the Zimbabwean flag high as they go on a hunting expedition in Africa.

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