Bulawayo — HIGHLANDERS' coach Kevin Kaindu says he feels like a lonely man fighting a whole pack of rivals ahead of his team's international friendly against Mamelodi Sundowns at Barbourfields today.
The match starts at 4pm.
The irony of the two benches is that while Kaindu is the only coach standing at Bosso, Sundowns have a 15-man technical team.
"It's a fact that they brought in a large contingent and the number of their technical team naturally gives one a worry since I am alone and that on its own puts me in a bit of disadvantage," said the man who led Highlanders to a second place finish in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League where they went on a record-breaking 23-match unbeaten run.
The Brazilians brought in a huge 15-member technical team led by head coach Pitso Mosimane.
"We prepared well for the South Africans, we are ready and everyone is looking forward to the game, never mind the friendly part of it as it is only a word otherwise it's a very serious meeting as evidenced by our opponents' entourage," said Kaindu.
Highlanders could welcome back former skipper, Gilbert Banda, who has been training with the team while former Hwange and Motor Action winger Fortune Fokoza Ncube might also be thrown into the fray.
Also in the Bosso camp is the duo of Thabani Moyo and Njabulo Ncube.
All the three Zimbabwean players turning out for the South African glamour club are likely to be in the starting line up this afternoon.
From the Brazilians' morning training session at the match venue yesterday, former Hwange, Shabanie Mine and CAPS United utility player, Method Mwanjali could start as the right back.Mwanjali's presence in the team, against a background of his life ban by Zifa for his alleged role in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal, will be an interesting sideshow.
Zifa vice-president, Ndumiso Gumede, said last week Mwanjali was free to play here for his foreign club but cannot do so for either a local side or the Warriors until his case has been finalised.
Interestingly, Dynamos cannot use their defensive rock, Guthrie Zhokinyi, also suspended in the same Asiagate saga, for the friendly against Sundowns although Gumede said the defender, like Mwanjali, could still play for a foreign club.
The irony of it all is that the same Zifa will authorise the International Transfer Certificate, in the event that Zhokinyi gets a foreign club, for him to pursue his career there despite his ban.
Former AmaZulu strongman, Esrom Nyandoro, is likely to be the holding midfield position.
Zimbabwe international forward, Nyasha Mushekwi, will be the front man in a starting line-up that will also see Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Teko Modise playing as a wide midfielder on the left side.
The Pretoria side are using the tour to prepare for the second half of their Absa Premiership season where they started off badly under Dutchman, Johan Neeskens, until things began to improve after the arrival of former Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane.
Meawnhile, Mines and Mining Development Minister, Obert Mpofu, will be the guest of honour this afternoon with indications that he has promised the Bosso players incentives to tame their well-paid counterparts.Highlanders' chairman, Peter Dube, could only confirm the presence of Mpofu as a guest of honour.
"I can only confirm that he will be our guest of honour not the incentive part of it as I am not aware as yet," said Dube.
Mpofu has of late been the club's all-weather benefactor together with Tshinga Dube.