Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
A DERBY duel featuring a pair high on confidence having picked victories against the leading pack in their previous encounters shouldn’t be short of fireworks. The teams lock horns in a Castle Lager Premiership football battle at Rufaro this afternoon.
And both set of coaches have stoked the flames ahead of the tie.
Harare City are coming into this one on the back of two impressive wins over Hwange and Chicken Inn while Herentals inflicted the latest of setbacks to title aspirants CAPS United in their last match.
Yet both clubs have been battling for consistency since the start of the term, 11 weeks ago.
So uninspiring has been the municipal club that coach Mark Harrison has virtually used each and every one of his registered players in just 11 games as he sought to battle the demons which had seen his side enduring a bad start to the marathon.
They have since moved to within six points of the leaders though, with 16 points under their belt but Harrison is not satisfied as yet.
Herentals haven’t been impressive either, winning just twice against Dynamos and CAPS United, accumulating 12 points in the process and they aren’t very far off the drop zone.
Harrison, who at one point relegated all his senior players to the terraces as he apparently wanted to whip them into line in terms of their general performance, has demanded a polished act from his charges.
“We have prepared well for a physical game. We know they (Herentals) are a difficult team to break down, and we have to be prepared to compete with them in the middle of the field.
“I am happy that we are starting to show our quality but consistency is the key. We need to be able to produce quality performances week in, week out not just here and there,” said Harrison.
Harrison’s regular forwards Wilfred Muwirimi and Jerry Chipangura aren’t available due to injury and suspension respectively.
The latter picked a red card in the team’s victory over Chicken Inn last Saturday.
While Herentals will also miss right-back Wilmore Chimbetu, who is suspended after picking three yellow cards, their mentor Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva hopes his troops will take last week’s momentum into this encounter.
“Last weekend’s victory over CAPS United should be a motivating factor for the boys. We are looking forward to our match against Harare City with a positive mind.
“The boys need to do their best. After last week’s result, everyone is looking forward to this one and we should win to keep the momentum,” said Mutiwekuziva.
There haven’t been a winner between the two teams as both their meeting last season ended in goalless draws.