For the past three weeks, focus has been on the Harare derby between CAPS United and Dynamos.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
But today, attention shifts to Barbourfields Stadium for a Bulawayo derby confrontation between How Mine and Highlanders.
Never mind that How Mine are less than 24-months-old in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), but they have become Highlanders’ stern challengers in Bulawayo.
They completed back-to-back league victories over Bosso last season where they carved themselves the reputation of giant killers.
For the first time in their league meetings, Highlanders beat How Mine 2-1 on July 6.
Having a number of former Highlanders players in their ranks have made How Mine an enemy of Bosso fans, creating ingredients needed for a derby.
What will also make How Mine more resented this afternoon is that they pose a great threat to Highlanders’ lead.
Nine points separate the two sides as How Mine still fancy chances of bagging the league title.
The gold miners’ coach Philani Ncube has taunted his Bosso counterpart Kelvin Kaindu saying the coaches’ tactical acumen will decide the victor.
“We are looking for three points,” declared Ncube.
“The technical bench will determine the winner. We are a Bulawayo team as well and we need some recognition.”
How Mine will be without suspended midfielder Xolani Moyo.
If How Mine return to their giant-slaying habits, they could provide a cushion for Dynamos to leap over Highlanders if they win against Black Rhinos at Rimuka in Kadoma.
Ncube hinted at unleashing his new signings Lewis Matawu, Elias Makako, Mandla Sibanda and Caleb Masocha.
Highlanders also have new additions with Pasca Manhanga being their biggest acquisition during the mid-season transfer period.
Having scored the highest number of goals in the league so far, Kaindu has not stopped adding bite to his strike force after bringing back Njabulo Ncube.
As always, Kaindu is diplomatic on today’s game.
“The better side of the day will win,” Kaindu said.
Midfielder Tapiwa Dephistara could be handed his debut run together with Webster Chingodza.
Meanwhile, Dynamos will seek to press on their title defence with a visit to Kadoma for a date with Black Rhinos at Rimuka.
High in spirit after beating CAPS United emerging from three derby clashes unscathed, Kalisto Pasuwa’s men are in mean mood.
They however could meet stiff resistance from the soldiers who twice shocked How Mine with back-to-back wins in their last two matches.
It would be the second game for new Rhinos coach Jostein Mathuthu who is in a real test this afternoon.
Dynamos struggled to overcome Rhinos in the reverse fixture and the Rimuka battle does not guarantee them maximum points.