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Magosi seek shock upset

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The most enticing game of the BTC Premiership this weekend is arguably between Kgatleng sleeping giants Mochudi Center Chiefs and 2016/17 reigning champions Township Rollers at the National stadium. In recent history, neither form nor the impressive roster from each side has decided the outcome of the match. This is the sort of fixture where the character of players will always lead to spectacular goals being scored and amazing acrobats in the goal line. The 12th man is also a big factor as tempers flare in the stands and errors being severely punished.

Thus far, Magosi have have had a torrid early part of the season while the sizzling Popa Popa have been in great form. However that doesn’t declare Popa as the winners of the match considering their the sizzling form. Magosi have always given Mapalastina a torrid time and this makes for entertaining football. Lately Rollers have seen their side form a more organized side under Serbian Coach Nikola Kavazovic, the side has a hard rock defense which has left attackers sweating and failing to get behind with Semisane Mathumo, Edwin Olerile, Mosha Gaolaolwe and Tshepho Mothabankwe who have all formed an unshakable defensive mechanism at the back.

Kavazovic has played a leading role early after taking up the job, with his onus of changing play during the game being fruitful as players respond positively and look more comfortable with the tasks. Kovazovic can switch from 4-5-1, 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 in the blink of an eye. The coach will have to be cautious on his approach this time and play his trusted 4-5-1 formation which will give him shape at the back, with this formation Kovazovic will use Tshepho Matete and Motsholetsi Sikele as the full backs, tasking them with attacking and defensive duties while the back line remains in place most of the time.Maano Ditshupo will be the guard in the center of the park while Lemponye Tshireletso will be unleashed to play a free role, with his creativity in the midfield expected to impact on the leading striker Mthokozisi Msomi in the absence of leading goal scorer Joel Mogorosi who is out on injury.

The last time Rollers lost a league game was last year November against a stubborn Magosi side at the same venue and the MmaMasire based side will not want to see their unbeaten run sail away from them in discarded fashion. On the other hand, Chiefs can send shock waves through the Rollers faithful as they go into the game without anything to lose, the Kgatleng based side has seen their performance decline over the past season and it doesn’t look different this season as their start to the season cannot be looked at with both eyes.

Innocent Morapedi’s troops will have to dig deep if they plan a shock upset over the star studded Mapalastina who have gone unbeaten for more than 20 games in the league now. Morapedi will obviously call to task his trusted and ancient 4-4-2 formation with four flat defenders, Thato Kebue, Charles Mutero, Gosegonna Molapise and Katlego Keobake, the four will be holding the high line for Magosi. Magosi will need a lot of energy and speed in the midfield with Captain Lesego Galenamothale missing out on suspension, Thato Ogopotse and Lawrence Majawa will fit in the center of the park and try to control the tempo of the game.

Magosi will put up pacey wingers in Lesego Lubinda and Thatayaone Ramatlapeng who will put to test the aging Township Rollers defenders, the set of wingers are expected to play in crosses a lot of the time targeting their lethal strikers Khumoitsile Kufigwa and Tendai Nyamadzao who will pose aerial threat to Popa. Newly appointed Magosi coach Kinnah Phiri will be watching his side from the stands as he continues to wait for his work permit, his presence can turn motivational to the current crop of demoralized Magosi players however.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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