Bulawayo giants Highlanders say they are ready for the big match against bitter rivals Dynamos, slated for this Sunday at Barbourfields stadium.
Zimbabwean premiership football matches do not come any bigger than this epic battle.
Despite the fact that both sides are nowhere near contending for the championship does not take away the spark from the encounter.
Highlanders who are on a re-identification of the team’s culture have managed to bring back the crowds to their matches although the results on the field of play have been inconsistent.
From their last five matches, Tshilamoya has only managed two victories, two losses and a draw, something not so different from their opponents who have achieved two wins, two draws and a single loss.
While Highlanders lost their last two matches at their favourite fortress Emagumeni, Dynamos managed to win theirs at the same venue last week against struggling Bulawayo City, with Tshilamoya gaffer Madinda Ndlovu indicating that it was going to be a totally different ball game altogether come Sunday.
“They are somewhere in cloud 29 there or 99 with the boost of that victory against Bulawayo City last week and we probably are coming in as underdogs with a lot of care and respect that we are playing a team that won a game last weekend. However, we are not going to put much respect or thought to that because it is Bulawayo City they were playing, not Highlanders. It is Bulawayo City,” said Madinda.
His side will miss the services of new acquisition Tinashe Makanda and Thabo Lunga while Tafadzwa Sibanda will have to pass a late fitness test.
Gate charges for the encounter have been hiked with the lowest pegged at $5.
Bosso CEO Nhlanhla Dube called upon fans to be in their best behaviour on the afternoon.
“What we want to ask them is this; to remember that the battle is a sporting battle. It is not a battle outside the sporting parameters. We appreciate that certain things don’t agree on some games as they do with other games. Sometimes we don’t agree with the call of the referee.
“Sometimes the referee hasn’t seen what we think he should have seen. We say to our fans, the only and best way to express ourselves is by song, dance and voice. Never by hand, bottle, and missile or by entering the pitch,” Dube said.
Over the years Dynamos had been enjoying dominance over Highlanders, but the Bulawayo giants have come back strongly these last few seasons.
The last time the two outfits met at the same venue, the match could not be finished with both sides deadlocked 1-all after a hotly disputed Christian Epoupa equaliser, with the match finally given to Dynamos on a 3-nil scoreline by the PSL Disciplinary Committee.