PREMIER league pacesetters Kick4Life’s title credentials will once again be severely tested, this time by Matlama when the two teams face off in a potentially explosive encounter at Setsoto stadium on Saturday.
Kick4Life can finish the first half of the league campaign on top if they pass the Matlama test and another against LMPS in their next match.
They have a two points’ advantage over in-form Lioli.
Kick4Life and Matlama head into their clash on the back of victories over LDF and Rovers respectively in their games played last week.
Kick4Life coach Leslie Notši told the Lesotho Times that they expected a tough but entertaining game from Matlama who were a very competitive side despite their recent problems that led to the resignation of head coach Moses Maliehe.
“Our target in every match is to be consistent and collect maximum points,” Notši said, adding, “But our match against Matlama is going to be a tough but entertaining encounter.”
Notši said his side was feeling the pressure from the big sides who were closing the gap on them.
“We expected that at some stage the big guns would find their groove but I am satisfied with how the team has performed so far.
“I think the players we brought in at the start of the season and those that have been here for some time have helped us become a stable and competitive side,” he said, adding there was still room for improvement.
While Kick4Life have stated on several occasions that their focus was not on winning the league, the former Likuena coach however conceded that there was growing ambition within the team, having tasted how it felt like to be on top of the table for much of the first round of the campaign.
“It is only natural, as human beings, to want to compete for bigger things especially when you know what it feels like to be on top of the table, but our focus is on improving as a team,” said Notši.
For his part, Matlama public relations officer, Tankiso Moletsane said Tse Putsoa’s camp was in high spirits following their 3-0 demolition of Rovers last weekend.
“We are very delighted that the players bounced back in style after a tough week on and off the pitch,” Moletsane said, adding, “It was a relief for all of us and we go into the match against Kick4Life with confidence very high among the players”.
“The good thing is that our current caretaker coaches worked as assistant coaches to the departed coach so there was a smooth transition when Ntate Moses Maliehe resigned,” he said.
Moletsane said Matlama remained a force to be reckoned with and could mount a strong challenge for the league title.
“We went through a tough phase, but it is all over now and the target is to collect as many points as possible.
“The players have the momentum and will look to continue from where they left off in the 3-0 win over Rovers on Sunday,” he said.
On Saturday, Linare host LDF in Maputsoe while two struggling sides Likhopo and Rovers face off in Maseru.
Champions Lioli will go head to head with basement team Butha Buthe Warriors who remain the only side without a win after ten games.
On Sunday, Bantu welcome LCS to Leshoboro stadium in Mafeteng in a match that is expected to produce fireworks.
In the other Sunday matches, Liphakoe face Sky Battalion while Sandawana entertain LMPS in Maputsoe.
Matlama v Kick4Life
Linare v LDF
Likhopo v Rovers
BB Warriors v Lioli
Liphakoe v Sky Battalion
Bantu v LCS
Sandawana v LMPS