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Leaders Chicken Inn can make a huge statement at Rufaro tomorrow if they can hand defending champions Dynamos their first defeat of the season in a top-of-the-table Castle Lager Premiership tie.

Coach Joey Antipas said yesterday they will always treat each opponent with respect.

Chicken Inn have registered five victories in their opening six matches while champions Dynamos are unbeaten with four wins and two draws.

“We have to play our normal game, there should be nothing special in the way we approach this match.

“I think we just have to go in there and give our best and see what happens after 90 minutes,” said Antipas.

The former Motor Action and Shooting Stars coach will always have bad memories of his last visit to Rufaro early this year.

Chicken Inn lost 2-0 to Harare City in the round two matches.

Antipas yesterday challenged his troops to adjust to the artificial turf at Rufaro.

“I cannot really say my players will struggle at Rufaro. Most of them have played at the venue before and it’s a matter of adjusting quickly. It has to do with their mental attitude,” said Antipas.

“We are hoping to stay at the top of the log for as long as it will last. That means we should be getting good results but it’s going to be difficult to maintain that slot.”

Antipas will be looking forward to his trusted lieutenant,s Clement Matawu, George Majika, Mkhokeli Dube, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Mitchelle Katsvairo and the club’s top goal scorer Edmore Chirambadare, who has already found the target three times.

Chirambadare is expected to be fit for the game after shaking off a slight knock.

Rightback Passmore Bernard was also being closely monitored by the medical team ahead of the game.

But Warriors hardman Danny “Deco” Phiri, the Chicken Inn skipper, will miss tie after getting a red card in the Bulawayo derby against How Mine last weekend.

In the absence of Phiri, Chicken Inn could entrust either Brian Juru or Thabani Goredema in the midfield battles against DeMbare’s Stephen Alimenda, Walter Mukanga, Ronald Chitiyo, Masimba Mambare and Oscar Machapa.

“Danny is out because he was unfortunate to get a red card. In was a derby and the match was tense but this is also a chance for other players to prove themselves.

“But I reckon it’s not going to be an easy game because Dynamos are the champions and they are still undefeated. They are also playing very well,” said Antipas.

Dynamos will be out to maintain their unbeaten run.

DeMbare team manager Richard Chihoro said they know that a tough test awaits them and has challenged his players to raise their game.

“We know our opponents are a very good side. Right now they have won almost all of their games and that alone says much about the calibre of the team,” said Chihoro. “This is an important game for both teams because whoever wins will be on top of the table, so all the boys are looking forward to it.

“There is no pressure at all on our part because we are taking it just like one of the many games that we have played this season.

“But we need to improve.

“We didn’t do quite well against Harare City. The boys just did not click, we were not at our best and we are hoping to rise on Sunday.”

Dynamos coach David Mandigora will have all his players available for selection following the recovery of Cliff Sekete and Patrick Khumbula.

Centreback Sydney Linyama has also recovered from illness and might be considered for a starting place tomorrow ahead of Elisha Muroiwa.

But it is the return of Khumbula that should give the coach more options as DeMbare have been struggling in front of goal. Their strikers — Farai Mupasiri, Kenneth Bulaji, Simba Nhivi and Dominic Chungwa — have been firing blanks.

Source : The Herald