Ngqwele Dube,Sports Correspondent
HIGHLANDERS will be aiming at bagging three points when they take on Yadah Stars this afternoon at Barbourfields Stadium as the Bulawayo side seeks to keep pace with the log leaders.
Bosso are four points away from Castle Lager Premier Soccer Dynamos but coach, Erol Akbay is wary of dropping more points as it could leave them far off the leading pack.
Highlanders have failed to find consistency this season, blowing hot and cold, a situation that has left them on position seven with 15 games having been played. Akbay said it was critical they stick close to the leading pack and today the team has to take all the three points after being held to a draw by How Mine last weekend.
He said he is ready to ditch “good football” in order to amass the points to ensure they do not fall far off the leading teams.
“We have to get the three points by any means necessary. We have come to a point where even good football is not important anymore if it is not going to deliver the maximum points. We do not want to remain far behind but looking at the log we are just three points from the leaders. Sometimes even if you lose you are able to retain your place in the top eight and a win can see us rise to the top,” he said.
Akbay said they will not be taking Yadah lightly after the Prophet Walter Magaya-owned side stunned champions Caps United during a mid-week encounter.
“They (Yadah) are a physical and strong team, despite struggling they are dangerous as shown by their 2-0 win against Caps. They are not an easy side to beat, so we have to keep our focus. Teams that are at the bottom in the league are hard to beat, especially when they are playing Highlanders they bring their all and make it difficult for the team,” he said.
Akbay hinted he will deploy the youthful side that he usually thrusts into the fray when they face teams that occupy the bottom half of the table.
Striker, Godfrey Makaruse, midfielders Brian Banda, Adrian Silla and King Nadolo are likely to find themselves in the starting line-up together with defender Charlton Siamalonga who will be coming in for the suspended Benson Phiri.
Phiri, who is on suspension after accumulating three yellow cards, had come in for Honest Moyo in the last match with the left back on national duty at the Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa.
Winger, Rahman Kutsanzira will be making a return after missing the game against How Mine due to injury.
Yadah coach, Jairos Tapera said they will have to be at their best as taking on Bosso at Barbourfields is no easy feat.
He said missing five regular players is certain to cripple them but he is hopeful those who will be selected will do their best.
Brian Chikwenya and Wellington Kamudyariwa are on suspension after accumulating three yellow cards each while Morris Musiyakuvi, Johannes Sibanda and Manuel Meleka are in the sick bay.
“We might have won against Caps but it won’t be a walk in the park when we take on Bosso, particularly at BF. They are a good side and playing them at BF is always difficult for any side,” said Tapera.
He said while the win against the champions lifted their spirits they have been preparing for a tough match.
The league debutants are on position 13 on the log and they have found the going tough in the Premiership.
In other fixtures lined up for this afternoon, Shabanie Mine clash with How Mine while Harare City clash take on Hwange.
Today: Highlanders v Yadah (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v How Mine (Maglas) Harare City v Hwange (Morris Depot) \
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League results
Friday: Dynamos 2-0 Bantu Rovers
Yesterday: Tsholotsho FC 2-2 Triangle United, ZPC Kariba 1-1 Black Rhinos, Chapungu 2-0 Chicken Inn, Ngezi Platinum Stars 2-1 FC Platinum