RELEGATION threatened, Likhopo, return to action today to face on song Linare in an Econet Premier League match scheduled for Setsoto Stadium in a match where the former hopes to change their fortunes.
The Halemakale Mahlaha-coached outfit are sitting second from the bottom of the 13-team league table with 13 points after losing nine, drawing four and winning only three of their 16 matches.
Both, Likhopo and Linare, were out of action last weekend due to the LNIG Top8 quarterfinals second leg fixtures.
Their last match against Liphakoe had to be cut short 15 minutes to the end of regulation time after heavy rains disrupted their match while they were trailing 3-1 at Ratjomose Ground a fortnight ago.
They had gone into that match with their heads high after shocking Matlama with a 1-0 win.
However, Mahlaha said he worried that they did not get adequate preparation time due to the unpredictable weather that was in some areas characterised by heavy rains and hailstorm.
“These are the last matches of the season and they are not easy as teams try to end the season well,” Mahlahla said.
“Linare are above us on the log standings and surely they are expecting a win. My worry is that we did not have enough time to train due to the weather and considering the team is largely composed of student, we have a few fitness worries.”
The former Lioli and Matlama coach said he was also worried about his side’s inconsistency which he said was characteristic of a young side.
“I am using young players and they struggle to be consistent. If they win today, it gets into their heads and their performance takes a knock in the next match and this was what happened after beating Matlama. We were saved by the rains in the next match because we had gone down 3-1 to Liphakoe,” he said.
“Linare are a motivated side and I can predict it is going to be a fierce battle as we will go all out to win the game.”
Linare spokesperson, Thabo Rakhomo, said they have prepared well but they are worried the break might have negative effects on his side’s fitness.
“Apart from the weather, the most worrying part is this break because we were not active last week and that might have affected our momentum,” Rakhomo said.
“It is not going to be an easy match because both teams are desperate for maximum points. We are eying a top eight finish and Likhopo hope to escape relegation. So, every game is important now and Likhopo cannot be undermined,” he said.
In other League matches to be played today, Kick4Life make a short trip to PTC Ground to face LMPS while Liphakoe host Lioli at LCS Ground.