13 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Relegation Battle Hots Up

Harare City believe there isn't much of a difference between them and relegation-bound Bantu Rovers which makes tomorrow's duel a must-win as they put their bid for survival into full throttle. The Bulawayo side will be relegated should they lose at Rufaro tomorrow afternoon. Bantu Rovers have collected a paltry 13 points, with seven games to go, and can only finish the season on the 34-point mark.

Above them are Tsholotsho with 20 points, Hwange with 26 points and Shabanie Mine with 30 points. With four teams going down this season, the battle is quite intense at the bottom of the league with about half a dozen teams in the danger zone. And speaking during the club's press briefing at Town House yesterday, coach Philani "Beefy" Ncube said they were still in the same predicament as Bantu Rovers.

The Sunshine Boys are a place above Shabanie with 31 points. Yadah and Bulawayo City also have 32 points while Chapungu are on 33 points. "There is not much difference between us and Bantu Rovers and that on its own will make us guard against complacency because we cannot afford to lose," said Ncube.

"We cannot afford to slip because we are sitting at the edge of the razor." He believes the outcome of today's match between Shabanie Mine and Chicken Inn might sink them further down the relegation zone.

"Whatever happens on Friday, if Shabanie Mine win, definitely we are in the murky waters of relegation. "We are saying if Shabanie get a positive result, definitely we are under pressure.

"It is not going to be an easy game but a must-win match for us because Bantu have nothing to lose," he said.

The Sunshine Boys have struggled for consistency this season. "We need to work on integrated training, make everybody happy, to believe in themselves and try and pull together and have one objective," said Ncube. City will be weakened by the absence of their forwards -- Malvern Gaki, Jerry Chipangura and Grey Kufandada -- who are injured.

However, they still have some good players in Protasho Kabwe, who scored the all-important goal last weekend to send them into the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup. "Definitely those assigned should do the job positively.

"As far as co-ordination is concerned it will affect us but then we need to come up with other plans. We need maximum points against Bantu Rovers like any other team. "Definitely we are crying for that consistency," said Ncube.

Fixtures

Today: Shabanie Mine v Chicken Inn (Maglas, SS).

Tomorrow: Bulawayo City v Ngezi Platinum (Barbourfields, SS), Tsholotsho v Chapungu (Dulivhadzimo), ZPC Kariba v Dynamos (Nyamhunga), Yadah v Black Rhinos (National Sports Stadium), Harare City v Bantu Rovers (Rufaro), How Mine v Hwange (Luveve).

Sunday: CAPS United v Triangle (NSS), Highlanders v FC Platinum (Barbourfields, SS).

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