Marabe is back!

Marabe is back!

Maseru – Lesotho striker Litšepe Marabe has given Bantu a huge boost by returning to first-team training ahead of Sunday’s crucial Econet Premier League tie against Liphakoe.
Marabe’s return is perfect timing. Last weekend the champions launched their title defence with a convincing 4-0 win over Sefotha-fotha but several key players, including Marabe and captain Thapelo Mokhehle, missed the game because of injuries.

This weekend ‘A Matšo Matebele’ face the difficult trek to Quthing to face a Liphakoe side also on a high after a shock 1-0 win over Matlama last Saturday.
Marabe’s return gives Bantu coach James Madidilane even more options in an exhilarating attack that put Sefotha-fotha to the sword last weekend with goals from Peter Maloisane, Lindokuhle Phungulwa, Lehlohonolo Fothoane and Tsietsi Motšeare.
“We had a few players with injuries against Sefotha-fotha including the likes of Litšepe Marabe, but Litšepe has recovered. This week some of the players came back and joined us in training,” Madidilane said.

Bantu will need all their firepower against a Liphakoe outfit that also has lofty ambitions for this season and Madidilane acknowledged he is anticipating a much different outing in Quthing compared to what his side faced against premiership novices Sefotha-fotha.
“We encountered some challenges in our previous game but we worked on them during our preparations for this game,” the 2016/17 title-winning coach said.
“You will remember that Liphakoe also played very well and they won a tough battle against Matlama, so that tells you they have a strong team. It is not going to be easy at all but I believe we are coming on well in terms of our preparations.”

Madidilane said his charges are fully focused on claiming all three points against Liphakoe.
“It is still the beginning of the league and we cannot really say much about the satisfaction in our performance because there are lots of matches ahead,” he added.
“The plan is to work hard in order to accumulate maximum points and to stay consistent on our performance. The players are still fighting hard for positions and that shows there is good competition within our squad,” Madidilane said.

Elsewhere this weekend, last season’s runners up Lioli face Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) at Ha Ratjomose looking to build on their opening day 2-0 win over Sundawana.
Also on Saturday, Kick4Life make their season bow against Likhopo at the Lesotho Correctional Service ground (LCS) after their league opener against Sky Battalion was postponed.
On Sunday the big game is the clash between traditional rivals Matlama and Linare at the Maputsoe DiFA Stadium with both fallen giants coming from defeats last weekend.
‘Tse Putsoa’, however, will be boosted by news their headline signing Nzenze Nkulu is available to make his debut against Linare. The Congolese hit-man missed last Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 loss to Liphakoe because his documentation was not ready after his move from Bantu.
“(Nkulu’s) absence caused an inconvenience to the coach as he was planning around him, however, his documents are now in order and he is available for selection,” said Matlama communications and marketing manager Tankiso Moletsane.

Weekend Fixtures:
Saturday (15:00)
Sundawana vs. LCS (Maputsoe DiFA Ground)
Sky Battalion vs. Majantja (TBC)
LDF vs. Lioli (Ratjomose)
Likhopo vs. Kick4Life (LCS)
Sunday (15:00)
Liphakoe vs. Bantu (Quthing)
LMPS vs. Sefotha-fotha (PTC)
Linare vs. Matlama (Maputsoe DiFA Ground)
(Times and venues subject to change)

Luciah Phahla

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