Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THERE will be some interesting sub-plots in this do-or-die encounter as Harare giants CAPS United aim to accomplish the impossible by kicking heavyweights TP Mazembe out of the CAF Champions League tournament tomorrow.
The game has come under the spotlight following revelations of well-orchestrated machinations to influence the result in favour of the wealthy visitors.
Mazembe coach Thierry Froger said they are expecting a difficult match in Zimbabwe following the frustration at home when Makepekepe forced them to a 1-1 draw in Lubumbashi.
He was full of confidence as he has all players available for the crucial tie, but exercised the luxury to leave behind some of his senior players like Tresor Mputu, Joel Kimwaki and Jean Kasusula.
The trio has been having problems with the new coach and last week they were surprisingly relegated to the bench in favour of youngsters like Arsene Zola and Kevin Mondeko who have also been included among the traveling 18.
The Frenchman said they will respect Makepekepe and is expecting another tough contest.
“It will be a difficult game, but we are here to qualify. We have to play better than the home game, but I think the home team will be more determined and more motivated. It will be a difficult game,” said Froger.
His opposite number Lloyd Chitembwe, who is nicknamed “The Frenchman” by his inner circle will be looking to outdo his rival and proving that money does not always buy success.
Chitembwe has valued the away goal they got in Lubumbashi and will be looking to build from there.
Although they miss one of their key players Ronald Chitiyo through suspension, the former midfielder has maintained that Makepekepe will be competitive.
He has many options, but Joel Ngodzo is likely to take up the playmaker’s role.
“I don’t want at this stage to dwell much into the details of the tactics, but it’s good we got an away goal, I think it’s good for the confidence, it’s good for the spirit. I think it’s just good for the confidence.
“One thing for sure is we know they will come at us and we won’t play differently from the way we have been playing. No one can play outside of what he is capable of doing so we will try to apply ourselves in the best way that we know we can get what we want out of this match.
“They (TP Mazembe) are a very good team and going into this game with a better idea of how they play I think we are in a good position to make the right kind of decisions based on what we know they can do,” said Chitembwe.
TP Mazembe squad
Ibrahim Mounkoro, Sylvain Gbohouo, Djos Issama, Kabaso Chongo, Yaw Frimpong, Salif Coulibaly, Kevin Mondeko, Arsene Zola, Christian Kouame, Daniel Adjei, Mika Miche, Solomon Asante, Ben Malango, Adama Traore, Deo Kanda, Meschak Elia, Given Singuluma, Rainford Kalaba (c)