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Josta, Silla ruled out, Ndori Ndori returns ahead of DeMbare tie

Highlanders FC duo of last week’s hero Adrian Silla and the reigning Soccer Star of the Year Joel ‘Josta’ Ngodzo are both ruled out of this Sunday’s much awaited tricky encounter versus their rivals Dynamos FC.

The pair’s absence was confirmed by the gaffer Mandla ‘Lulu’ Mpofu during a pre-match media briefing held at the club’s offices in Bulawayo on Thursday morning.

According to Mpofu, Josta is out due to an undisclosed illness and its his second week now after missing last week’s game against city rivals Bulawayo Chiefs.

Then Silla who scored a brace against Chiefs to salvage a late 2-2 draw for the former champions is serving a suspension.

He (Silla) is automatically unavailable for the crunch tie which is likely to attract a huge number of fans including those residing out of Bulawayo.

“Josta (Ngodzo) is out. He is ill. This is the second week now, thats why you didn’t see him in the last game that we played, he is still out,” Mpofu outlined.

“Unfortunately, Adrian Silla is also out serving a suspension. But I believe whoever is going to fill up the gap will come in and do well or even better.

“I might say whoever is coming will fill in Adrian Silla’s gap very well he is not around but I know who is going to come in will have enough personnel especially if Nqo (Nqobizitha Masuku) passes the late fitness test will come in and make sure that he will stabilize the team.”

Lulu went on to confirm the return of the pint sized attacking midfielder Ray Lunga who has been out of action for the better part of the season due to an ankle injury.

“Ray (Lunga) is back. It is his third week where he has made contact training with the rest of the squad,” he added.

“If he (Ray) makes it to the final 18 or 20 squad for Sunday’s game then he will have few minutes. But definitely he will be available on Sunday.”

The Bulawayo giants take on the Harare giants at their fortress Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday afternoon.

The two Sakunda Holdings sponsored boys are clashing for the second time in a space of one month.

The financially oiled teams tussled in the Presidential Independence Trophy on 18 April at the same venue.

It was Bosso who won the match 1-0 after their forceful striker Stanley Ngala’s second half shot beat DeMbare’s highly rated goalkeeper Taimon Mvula.

Giving his reaction on the upcoming match, Lulu who is currently unpopular with the Bosso faithful said: “When we play Dynamos we all know it is a difficult game but we don’t look too much into history.”

He added: “Whether we are facing some injury problems in the squad or we have problems within the club, when we play Dynamos we always want a victory.

“Our community is looking forward to a win and if win them, we will make the people happy.”

Meanwhile, on the side, at a time Mpofu held a pre-match media briefing, it is reported that his counterpart Tonderai Ndiraya snubbed journalists in Harare.

According to the reports, Ndiraya had to instruct the club’s bouncers to deny all the journalists access to interview him ahead of the epic Battle of Zimbabwe.

The briefing was scheduled to take place at Prince Edward School soon after the team’s training.

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