Rollers, Chiefs set for tense battle

Leading light: Boy. PIC: KABO MPAETONA
Leading light: Boy. PIC: KABO MPAETONA


The match, which is expected to attract a huge crowd comes at a time when both sides are fresh from a fruitful week.

Rollers scrapped through to beat Extension Gunners 2-1 on Wednesday while Chiefs beat Police XI in Molepolole. The last time the two sides met was in the Kabelano Charity Cup final where Rollers edged Chiefs 3-2.

The match promises to be a tight affair, which could be decided on the bench.

Both sides are well equipped in each department although Rollers currently have the edge in terms of depth. Last season, the two teams had an equal share of wins against each other with Rollers winning 1-0 in the first round courtesy of Jerome Louis’ strike.

Chiefs went on to win by the same score in the second round through Lemponye Tshireletso before they went on to win the league title.  When they met in the first round last season.  Both Rollers and Chiefs were unbeaten with Chiefs leading the log with 12 points from four games.

Rollers were sitting in the second position with eight points at the time and Louis’ solitary strike reduced the gap to just a point.

This time, they meet when Rollers is leading the pack with 27 points from 11 games. 

Rollers are the only team, which has not tasted defeat since the beginning of the season. Chiefs have already lost once and sit in position three with 22 points.

 It will be interesting to see how the two coaches line up their teams for this game.  Rollers have been changing their team almost every game with only Kabelo Dambe, Mogogi Gabonamong, Joel Mogorosi and Segolame Boy the only regular figures in the starting 11.

Chiefs also shuffled their team against Police XI with the likes of Mkhanyeseli Siwahla getting a rare run after being signed this season.

Whether Mike Sithole will opt for experience against Rollers with Ayanda Molefe sitting on the bench remains to be seen.

Rollers also had some of their senior players struggling on Wednesday night, especially on the wings where they hardly troubled Gunners.  Rollers will welcome back Maano Ditshupo and Carl Finnigan, who missed Wednesday’s game due to suspension. Rollers’ coach, Mark Harrison said he is expecting a tightly contested match. He said games like this one are interesting from a spectator point of view.  Chiefs’ mentor, Sithole said his side is finally showing positive signs following two consecutive victories.  He said everyone is looking forward to Sunday’s game in which the one that does things right on the day will become victorious.  He, however, expressed concern over goal-scoring chances being missed, but admitted it is a nationwide problem.

“I do not know whether goalkeepers are becoming too good for strikers or what,” he said. 

In another interesting fixture, Nico United host Gunners tomorrow in a tricky encounter.

Nico have won their last two games while Gunners displayed a promising performance against Rollers in midweek. 

On Sunday, BDF XI look to pile pressure on log leaders when they take on Miscellaneous in Molepolole.  Matebele are currently breathing heavily on Rollers’ neck, with just a point separating the two sides.

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