HIGHLANDERS are most likely to be without injured star goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda for the first time this season when they meet struggling CAPS United in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final tie at Barbourfields on Sunday.
Sibanda, who had put no foot wrong for Bosso for the greater part of the season until he saw his form take a nose dive, picked a knock when the Bulawayo giants fell 0-1 at the hands of Hwange last weekend.
In Bosso’s last five game, the usually dependable former Embakwe High School pupil has conceded seven goals, an obviously worrying development for the success starved Bosso camp.
Sibanda has worn no other jersey except the Highlanders strip and kissed no other club badge except the famous “Siyinqaba” inscribed shield and spear logo.
He boasts of a massive 14 years of service at Bosso, and clinching this year’s Chibuku Super Cup or the Premier Soccer League title might be the ideal development to put icing on the cake on his football career.
“Ariel picked up a knock in Hwange but we hope he will be available for selection on Sunday,” said Highlanders communications and marketing officer Nozibelo Maphosa.
In Sibanda’s absence, one of his two understudies Raphael Pitisi and Reward Muza is likely to be thrown into the fray.
With Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito and his assistant Antonio Torress out on Warriors duty in Botswana, Bosso have been fine tuning under the watchful eyes of former club great Madinda Ndlovu, Joel Luphahla and fitness trainer Abraham Mbayiwa.
On Sunday, Amahlolanya will be meeting an inconsistent Makepekepe side that has gone for a nine-game league winless streak.
With Bosso’s Andrew “Tower” Mbeba having being dropped from the Warriors team that made the trip to Botswana yesterday, Highlanders can now field a solid rearguard.