MASERU — Two of the country’s biggest clubs Bantu and Lioli will renew their rivalry in a potentially explosive top of the table showdown at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.
The two teams head to the Sunday match following victories over LDF and LCS respectively and are both unbeaten after 10 league matches.
Suspended Bantu captain, Tlali Maile, who scored a penalty as his team beat Lioli to win the Independence Cup title over a month ago, told this paper that they are more than ready to lock horns with their rivals.
“I do not think my absence will make any difference because we have a big pool of quality players,” a confident Maile said.
The diminutive Bantu skipper said he has no doubts about the capabilities of his teammates and expects them to rise to the occasion against their bitter rivals.
“We have a quality side that is enjoying a good run of form and we are motivated to do well for the rest of the season.”
Maile told the Lesotho Times that they are aware of the significance of Sunday’s fixture and they will fight tooth and nail to protect their unbeaten run.
“The team has grown in confidence over the past weeks and beating them in the Top4 final has made it even better,” said Maile.
He also sung praises of coach Motlatsi Shale who joined Bantu at the start of the season.
The duo of Hopolang Mahlalefi and Tsebang Lebata are enjoying the form of their lives since joining the Mafeteng based side and will play a pivotal role if Bantu is to make it a double over Lioli within a pace of two months.
“He was the missing link in our team. He is one of the reasons the team is doing so well,” he said
Lioli coach, Mosholu “Shoe” Mokhothu, told this paper that his team is up to the task.
“This is going to be a different ball game all together and we want to win this tie,” Mokhothu said.
“Recent matches have shown that this has become the biggest fixture on the football calendar and we have to be at our best on Sunday,” he said.
The Lioli mentor said the target is to make sure that his team completes the first round fixtures unbeaten.
He said star striker and last season’s premier league top goal scorer, Tšepo Seturumane, is still struggling with an injury and is doubtful for the clash while Bushy Moletsane has recovered and is expected to make the team for Sunday’s showdown.
“We have to do well for our supporters and make them happy by snatching the three points against Bantu,” Mokhothu said.
Striker, Nkoto Masoabi has been on top form since joining Lioli and is expected to play a leading role alongside Tšepo Lekhooana to help Lioli remain unbeaten.
Matlama vs joy
LCS vs Qoaling Highlanders
LDF vs Mpharane
Bantu vs Lioli
Mphatlalatsane vs Nyenye
Melele vs Linare
LMPS vs Likhopo