Battlefield, Babourfields, Battle Lines Drawn

All roads lead to Babourfields Stadium in Bulawayo this Saturday, as old foes Highlanders and Dynamos collide.

The latest installment of the ‘Battle  of Zimbabwe’ is expected to attract a huge crowd at Emagumeni as has been the case in Bosso’s last two games there —against defending champions FC Platinum and Chicken Inn.

Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito has broken two jinxes since he replaced Mandla ‘Lulu’ Mpofu in the Bosso dugout last year.

Before the Portugese mentor arrived at Highlanders,  they (Bosso) were on a dismal run of 32 games without a win away from home in the league.

Before Brito set foot in Bulawayo, Tshilamoya had gone for nine years without beating FC Platinum in the league.

But the former Chelsea assistant coach has broken both jinxes, to the delight of the ever-demanfing Bosso faithful.

Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito

Despite the love he is getting from the Bosso fans, Brito will likely provoke their wrath if he allows Dynamos to break their own jinx against  Amahlolanyama.

DeMbare have not beaten Highlanders in the league since 2015 and to say “the Bosso fans want that record to stay intact”, might be one of, if not the biggest understatement in the history of the great rilvary.

To make matters worse for Herbert ‘Jompano’ Maruwa’s charges, they have failed to win their last two games after a promising start to the 2023 season.

After edging Hwange, they thumped Premiership debutants Sheasham 4-0 but then played out dull goalless draws with Simba Bhora and Cranborne Bullets.

Maruwa insists DeMbare firing blanks and failing to win their last two games adds no pressure as Highlanders also failed to win their last match —a goalless draw with Chicken Inn.

Dynamos coach Hebert Maruwa

“They (Highlanders) didn’t win also.  We are going there with a positive mindset, football is a game of pressure,” said Maruwa.

“Winning, drawing or losing,  there is always pressure but as a team, we go with a positive mind and get a positive result,” he added.

Maruwa will be hoping that crowd favorite Denver Mukamba, who made his first start  agaisnt Bullets and put on a decent show before he fizzled out later in the second half, will add the much needed impetus to the DeMbare attack.

The former Black Rhinos will also be hoping his defence, led by captain Frank Makarati, which is yet to be breached this season,  maintains that record.

For Brito,  reigning Soccer Star of the Year finalist Devine Mhindirira will be key in midfield, so will be striker Lynoth Chikuhwa upfront.

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