Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers will renew their rivalry in a mouth-watering clash slated for this Saturday. The eagerly anticipated match will take place on Saturday at 4pm at a venue to be communicated in due course.
Dragojlo Stanojlovic’s side will go into the match as the only side with a 100 per cent win record so far this term. The defending champions have won seven consecutive games to command a two-point lead at the top of the league table.
In contrast to Magosi’s form, Popa have endured a slow start to the season with two successive defeats in the first two rounds of the season. However, they recently showed signs of resurgence by working their way up the league table with positive results. Rollers currently occupy fifth spot on the log.
The number of players and the coaching staff who have represented both sides in recent seasons will hype the clash between the local giants. The most notable is Madinda Ndlovu, who left Magosi to join their bitter rivals during the off-season. The Zimbabwean led Chiefs to back-to-back league titles during his two-year tenure while in charge of the Kgatleng side.
His departure yielded mixed reactions from fans and officials; the fans felt betrayed by a coach they adored while most of the club’s officials were reportedly happy to part ways with the Zimbabwean trainer. The weekend clash will be the first time Ndlovu faces his former side since leaving last season.
Another individual who switched allegiances during the off-season is Onalethata Tshekiso; the striker joined Chiefs on a free transfer. The attacker will also be in the spotlight since he will be facing his old side for the first time in his career.
Other players who have represented both sides are Sekhana Koko and Amos Godirwang. The duo will have different points to prove during Saturday’s game and have underlined their sides’ confidence ahead of the weekend tussle in interviews with Gazette Sport.
“We already know what to expect in this game. Last season they struggled against us as they had to chase the game in both league matches. Chiefs are an experienced side but our side is younger and a lot quicker; we can give them problems. They have not changed their style of play and we can match them on the pitch. Confidence is high within our squad and we know that Chiefs are beatable,” said Koko.
On the hand, Magosi’s midfielder, Godirwang had this to say, “We have been watching Rollers and we are aware of their game plan. We believe we have seen areas that can be exploited. This game is one of the biggest of the season because both teams are eager to stamp their authority in the league. The only setback we have is Pontsho Moloi’s red card last weekend; however, many of our players will be making their respective return to the side and we are confident of recording a victory.”
Games between the local giants resulted in two draws in the league last season, with the results ensuring that Chiefs remain unbeaten against their rivals since the 2010/11 season. However, the Saturday game has both sides missing a vital player due to suspension as Maano Ditshupo and Pontsho Moloi both picked up red cards during the past weekend.
The pair has been influential figures in their respective sides; Moloi is known to be a menace to Rollers since he has a good record of scoring frequently against them. After the upcoming weekend’s clash, the clubs will renew hostilities again in the quarterfinal tie of the Mascom Top 8 tournament. The first leg encounter will take place on November 4 but the game’s venue has not yet been confirmed due to unavailability of the National Stadium.