MATLAMA will be out for maximum points to re-claim the top spot on the Econet Premier League log when they return to action this afternoon in a clash with LDF at Ratjomose Ground after a three week’s break.
Tse Putsoa has been out of league action since the FIFA break last month when Likuena played Tanzania. In the following week, they were supposed to play Bantu but the match was postponed as the opponents were preparing for their Confederation of African Football Champions League campaign against Township Rollers.
Last weekend Thabile Secker’s troops were also out of action as they were scheduled to play Lioli but the Teyateyaneng side was missing three of their players who are on tour with the national under-20 side in Zambia for the COASAFA Cup and the game was postponed again.
Matlama lost their last league match 2-0 to Kick4Life but Secker says the defeat is now water under the bridge and his charges are fired up to beat LDF as they are eying to get back to the number one spot on the league table.
The two sides go into the match with LDF sitting second on the table with 19 points, two points off the pace of log leaders LCS while Matlama are third with 17 points.
Matlama however, have two matches in hand as they have played only eight matches while both LCS and LDF had played 10 games before this weekend’s round of fixtures.
“We have had time to recover from the Kick4Life loss and we are ready for this weekend’s encounter and I think we had enough time to prepare so it is all up to the boys to do the job,” Secker told the Sunday Express.
He said their only worry is lack of match fitness as they were inactive in the league.
“However, there are many factors to consider and in as much as we rested, it is also worrying that we were inactive for three weeks and that will negatively affect our players’ match fitness. We are looking at that going into the match especially since we have had a brilliant run lately.
“We need to win the match regardless of all the factors things because at the end of the day we have to play to win the matches. Of course, I know that LDF are not going to be the pushovers and they have been in fine form but that means nothing to us. We are just focusing on the work that we have to do on the day.”
LDF coach Motheo Mohapi said he is confident that his side will walk away victorious but also conceded that it will be a tough encounter.
“We are going into this match with only one thing in mind which is to win. Of course, we are aware that is not going to be easy but if we are to win the championship, we need to start by beating the teams we are contesting with and Matlama are one such team.
“Beating Matlama will see us extending the gap between the two teams while we will be at par with LCS and that will make the race much easier for us,” Mohapi said.
He also said that on paper, Matlama might come into the match a bit rusty due to the long-time break but said it could have also helped them to recover.
“Of course, they have not been playing for three weeks and if they were in good run that might work against them and interrupt their momentum but if they were going through a rough patch the break has given them enough time to recover and re-organise. It is two pronged but we are not focusing on that; our work is just to go out there and do the job,” he said.
In other league matches LMPS host Linare at PTC Ground while LCS play Liphakoe at LCS Ground.