BANTU and Lioli are set to renew their rivalry at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday in what has in recent years become the biggest Premier League clash in the country.
The two clubs wade into the encounter after a difficult start to the new season with the Econet Premier League defending champions, Bantu being held to a 1-1 draw by Sefotha-fotha while Tse Nala suffered a 2-1 loss to Kick4Life.
Bantu coach James Madidilane said his side has to rise to the occasion and give a better performance when they face what he described as a wounded Lioli following the loss to Kick4Life in the opener.
“Everything is going on well ahead of the Lioli match and we have put everything that happened against Sefotha-fotha behind us,” Madidilane said.
“The focus is on the upcoming game which is not going to be easy as you know that Lioli also lost their opening game. We will prepare to get the three points on Sunday.”
Madidilane also praised Neo Mokhachane after the young winger, who recently signed from Ace Maseru, scored on his debut to salvage a draw against Sefotha-fotha.
“Mokhachane is still young, has potential and is going to go places but I will not compare him with Ramasimong Maloisane because he was more experienced.
“He has done well in the time that has been with us and also scored multiple times in the pre-season which is why we signed him. He is going to play a massive role for us.
“He has proved to be a good signing so far but there is still a long way to go. However, a talented youngster like him gives us options,” Madidilane said.
Tse Nala skipper, Mafa Moremoholo, said that it is important for his side to recover from the opening day setback against Kick4Life.
“It is important to bounce back because a good performance can put our season back on track and losing will make it even more difficult for us.
“A good result will give us confidence going forward while losing two games in a row will bring a lot of pressure on us though it is still early days.
“However, it is important to make good progress in the early stages of the season to get momentum,” Moremoholo said.
Moremoholo, who is also the Likuena skipper, said the changes made to their club should not be an excuse for a slow start to the new campaign.
“Yes, there are a lot of changes at the club but at the same time we cannot make it an excuse. At the same time, it is important to get a rhythm as a team.
“We are slowly adapting to the changes that are there in the team as players.”
Meanwhile, Matlama coach Thabile Secker has called for consistency ahead of their clash with Sefotha-fotha after an opening day 4-0 drubbing of Linare.
The sides are set to clash at PTC Ground on Saturday.
Likhopo and Linare will also be searching for their first wins when they clash (where) on the same day having lost on the opening weekend of the new campaign.
Galaxy’s top-flight football credentials will be put to the test when they welcome LCS at Maputsoe DIFA Ground also on Saturday while Swallows host Liphakoe (where).
Apart from the Bantu-Lioli clash on Sunday, Majantja welcome LMPS at Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground and Kick4Life play LDF in the last match of the weekend.
Sefotha-fotha v Matlama
Swallows v Liphakoe
Likhopo v Linare
Galaxy v LCS
Majantja v LCS
Bantu v Lioli
Kick4Life v LDF