VODACOM Premier League (VPL) leaders, Matlama, are hoping for a great start when they return to action on Saturday against LCS after a five months’ break.
The tie will be played at LCS Ground.
The Sea-Point outfit is at the top of the 16-team league table with 38 points from 16 matches while Bantu are second with 37.
Matlama coach, Molebatsi Mothobi, admitted that it will be challenging for his side to get its groove back after five months of inactivity. This after the suspension of the league in July on account of Covid-19.
“There is no doubt that this long lay-off has affected our rhythm but the good thing is that all teams were uniformly affected,”
“It is not going to be an easy match but the boys are ready for the game.”
He said it was vital for his side to resume action with a win to boost their confidence.
“We want to continue chasing the title. A win on Saturday against a good side like LCS will be a motivation. We have played a couple of friendlies to get the team back into shape and so far, I am happy with what I have seen.”
Matlama have lost defender, Stephen Essono, who joined Black Leopards, midfielder, Teboho Lillane and striker Ngaka Kobo. But Mothobi said the available players will do the job.
“Of course, we have lost some key players but we must move on and I believe the available players will do the job,” Mothobi said.
On part, LCS coach, Shalane Lehohla, said they were also ready for the challenge.
“We have tried our best to get the team back into shape but I think it is only when we start competing that we can tell if we are ready. However, the team is ready for the challenge, we know it is not going to be an easy task because Matlama are a good team but every coach wants to win.
“We had a long break, which will obviously affect us, so it is not going to be smooth sailing,” Lehohla said.
He however, is confident that getting into the match as underdogs would be an advantage.
“Every match has its challenges but we are going into this on as under dogs, so that might work in our favour. We should just focus on what we want to do and forget about Matlama’s game plan. Anything can happen.”
LCS will also be without striker, Mark Tahayim and attacking midfielder, James Mothotjela.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Bantu will host LDF, Swallows will welcome Lijabatho while Sefotha-fotha will host LMPS.