Lioli coach, Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu, told the Lesotho Times yesterday that Matlama will be a big test for his team that is enjoying a good run of form in the league.
The league defending champions are on a seven-match unbeaten run since the season started and have five victories and a draw.
“Our preparations for the big match are going according to plan and we have welcomed the other members of the squad who missed last weekend’s win over Melele,” Mokhothu said.
“You always feel good as a coach to have all your players in the team ahead of a big match and against a quality team like our Saturday opponents.
The Lioli coach told this paper that his team is yet to reach their full potential, but there are still weaknesses that need to be addressed.
“We tend to lose concentration towards the end of the match and concede silly goals when it is not necessary,” said Mokhothu.
Lioli will look to their new striker, Tšepo Lekhooana, who scored on his debut against Melele last weekend.
“The players have welcomed him into the team with both hands.
“He is a quality player and everyone is excited to have him in the squad,” he said.
The Lioli mentor said he is aware of the worrying fact that last season’s top goal scorer, Tšepo Serutumane is struggling to score goals in this campaign.
“Yes, it is somehow a surprise that he is not lethal as he was last season, but we sat him down before the season started because we knew it was going to be difficult to maintain the form of the previous campaign,” Mokhothu said.
He said the left footed attacker will come right with time. The Saturday match will also see the current league top goal scorer, Nkoto Masoabi, face his former team for the first time since he swapped for Lioli.
The dreadlocked striker was poised to join Matlama before the season started but Lioli acted fast and paid Liphakoe M25 000 for his services.
Masoabi leads the premier league goal scoring chats with 10 goals in seven matches having hit a brace against Melele last Saturday.
Recently elected Matlama communications and marketing manager, Thato Rafutho told this paper that Tse Putsoa has put behind last weekend’s disappointing 0-2 loss to Bantu.
“The players and the technical team have regrouped and we know the importance of Saturday’s match against a side we share so much rivalry with,” Rafutho said.
“This is a big match and we are confident that the players will fight for the three points on offer,” he said.
After loopholes in the Matlama squad side were exposed against Bantu last Sunday, Rafutho admitted that his team may need reinforcements in the January transfer window.
“It is not yet time to press the panic button so we will go into Saturday’s tie bubbling with confidence,” Rafutho said.
Tse Putsoa will draw inspiration from the experience campaigners like Pali Tšalong, Phafa Tšosane and skipper, Nkau Lerotholi to break the league defending champion’s unbeaten run.
Premier league weekend fixtures:
Joy vs Nyenye
Linare vs Likhopo
Melele vs Mpharane
Matlama vs Lioli
LMPS vs Bantu
LCS vs LDF
LCS vs LDF