PALAPYE: First Division North side, Eleven Angels will look to derail leaders Sua Flamingoes when the two meet in a league encounter at the Paul Henry Stadium tomorrow.
Last season, in their debut campaign, Angels surprised many as they stunned seasoned campaigners to establish themselves as difficult customers to then title favourites, TAFIC and Morupule Wanderers.
They completed their first season in a respectable fourth position with 37 points. Angels carry the hopes of the second city with rivals Francistown City Greens, Great North Tigers and Calender Stars struggling.
On paper, Flamingoes are a formidable side with players like former Wanderers attacker Samuel Makgoro, Mpho Odubeng, Ngwako Ramokgathadi and Refentse Mmelesi on song.
The Francistowners are a familiar giant slayer after attaining the title with their solid displays last season. Flamingoes were still the same force to reckon with when the Angels emphatically claimed their scalp in the second round of the past campaign in Sowa.
In fact, Angels are yet to lose against Flamingoes. They played to a stalemate in Francistown before the 4-0 win at Paul Henry Stadium.
The squads of both teams have changed and Angels coach, Seemo Mpatane is not expecting to get a result without a fight. He will place his hopes on his trusted marksman, Bakang Mpatane who has banged in three goals thus far and the midfield prowess of Jacob ‘WakaWaka’ Matlalo.
Angels backline, marshalled by Kabo Sereetsi and Theo Masuo has also been stingy, conceding only four goals in seven games and earning five clean sheets. Angels have played mostly topsides.
They held Motlakase Power Dynamos and Nico United to a stalemate both away. They lost 3-2 at home to Sankoyo Bush Bucks.
After the Sankoyo let down, they have been on a roll, winning their last three matches
Mpatane said pressure was on their opponents, who he reckons are itching for revenge and want to maintain their top spot.
“We are under no pressure; our preparations are normal. We are in search of a result, and a win would be a bonus. The boys are motivated, and they understand the game is winnable,” he said.
Of being Francistown’s best-placed side in the First Division, the coach said the aim was to do well for the city.
“We are working hard not to disappoint the people of Francistown. They have turned to us after TAFIC were promoted and we are delighted, it’s an enormous achievement for us.”
“We grew up watching ECCO (City Greens) and GNT and we don’t take it lightly that we are ahead of them today. We will fight to represent a worthy side and hopefully become the second Francistown side in the Premiership.”
Flamingoes assistant coach, Kopano ‘Computer’ Phakedi said they are ready for Angels. Their intentions, he said were to cling on to top spot.
“We are aware of the past results but that was then. We are under no pressure. We have studied our opponents and we are ready to give our supporters their money’s worth,” he said.
In other games, Green Lovers host Nico United, Motlakase travel to Tonota FC, GNT and City Greens clash in a Francistown derby while Maun Terrors and Bush Bucks will face each other in the Maun derby. On Sunday, Calendar Stars host Santa Green.