Highlanders coach Erol Akbay says He expects a tough game when his side face Bulawayo City in a tricky derby encounter as the 2017 league season starts.

The Bulawayo giants who have set their sight on the league title this season will be quite aware a good start to the season can certify their aspirations at the end season.

However, Bulawayo City will not be an easy team to crack and will certainly build on the successes of their debut season last year under new coach Mandla Mpofu.

Speaking to Newsday, Akbay conceded that City will give them a good run but assures that he has enough arsenal to see off the match.

“Bulawayo City are a better team than last year. I have seen them play. We had a training game with them in pre-season. They play a very physical game and they have very good players,” Akbay said.

“I think Bulawayo City will surprise a number of teams this year. But our team is ready. We are stronger than last year and my players are now doing exactly what I want.” he added.

Both teams bolstered their squads with Bulawayo City acquiring the services of experienced players like Zephania Ngodzo, Bhekimpilo Ncube, Douglas Sibanda, Heritein Masuku, Munyaradzi Mungadze, Clive Rupiya, Lindelani Ncube, Andrew Tandi, Fortune Ncube and Ransome Pavari.

For Highlanders much attention will be on former Dynamos and Caps United striker Roderick Mutuma who moved to Highlanders in pre season.

Bosso will however miss the pair of Rahman Kutsanzira and Godfrey Makaruse through injury.

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