A SUPER weekend of Econet Premier League (EPL) matches is in the offing as Lioli will seek to return to winning ways against wounded giants LMPS in Teyateyaneng on Saturday.
Stuttering champions will also have their hands full against the country’s most decorated club, Matlama at Maputsoe DIFA Ground on Sunday.
Lioli remain the only unbeaten side in the EPL but their run of two successive draws including the latest 1-all stalemate with rookies Sefotha-fotha represents a decline by their lofty standards.
“We have had a rough patch because in our last two games we dropped points,” Lioli coach, Motebang Makhetha, told the Lesotho Times this week.
“We have to go back to the drawing board to see where it went wrong. Conceding goals has become a cause for concern because it is not like those teams got the better of us.
“The goals have come from our own mistakes and it is now about working on the confidence of our players to cut out all those mistakes.’’
He said while LMPS were a “very good side with a solid defence and a good goalkeeper,’’ his charges would however, would fight “tooth and nail’’ to collect maximum points and please their supporters.
Makhetha who is unbeaten in six games since taking over the hot seat at Tse Nala attributed his achievements to the good working relationship he enjoyed with the team’s management.
“The confidence that they have shown in me has helped me to do well since taking over. They are always there for me when I need them just as they were with previous coaches.
“Even after dropping important points in the last two games they remained positive. The players have also been excellent and we immediately developed a good understanding.’’
For his part, LMPS Public Relations Officer, Kotsoana Ramakau, said his side had a tall order against the former champions, especially as they were smarting from their disappointing loss to lowly Likhopo during the weekend.
“We will up against a Lioli side with a big history on the back of our defeat by Likhopo.
“We have lost our place in the top three after that loss but the difference is not that huge between us and the teams above us.
“So to get back to that position we need to get maximum points against Lioli,” Ramakau said, adding they had no choice but to take the game to Lioli.
He also admitted that their inconsistent performances had cost them valuable points.
“We have also spoken to the coaches as we are particularly concerned by the fact that this is happening when we have assembled a very food squad. This is something we had not been able to do for a long time.
“It would seem that this had bred complacency and we tend to underestimate our opponents.
“The way we lost to a team like Majantja that recently returned to top flight football is an example of a match we thought we had won before it was even played. The attitude of players was just not right.
“Do not be surprised if you see a totally different LMPS when we play Lioli.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Majantja host Liphakoe in Mohale’s Hoek while LCS host Sefotha-fotha.
The big Sunday match pits Bantu against Matlama. Both sides have it all to play for as Bantu need to win to keep up with pacesetters Lioli while Matlama who have rediscovered their winning formula, will be seeking to maintain their fine form.
Kick4Life take on Linare while LDF are at home to winless Sky Battalion.
Econet Premier League fixtures
Lioli v LMPS
Majantja v Liphakoe
LCS v Sefotha-fotha
LDF v Sky Battalion
Bantu v Matlama
Kick4Life v Linare