By Sports Reporter
HARARE giants, Dynamos will be out to dent city rivals, CAPS United’s hopes of lifting the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title when the two sides clash in a potentially explosive derby that has weighty historical importance to go with its significance in the race.
Makepekepe are setting the pace at the top of the log standings with 55 points, two ahead of fellow title chasers Chicken Inn and FC Platinum.
Only three matches remain in the 2019 PSL title race with all pointing to a nervy photo finish.
Chicken Inn have an early opportunity to go top when they face Bulawayo Chiefs at Luveve on Saturday while FC Platinum’s assignment against fellow ‘Midlanders’ Chapungu will be on Sunday at Ascot.
However, the main focus is in Harare where the Green Machine’s title credentials come under test from a Dynamos side that is yet to taste defeat since falling 1-0 to premiership arch-rivals, Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium June 16.
Despite drawing 17 of their 31 league matches this season, Dynamos, positioned fifth but far outside title contention, have proven to be very difficult to beat this season.
And if the popular Harare side pull off a sensational victory over their city rivals, such result will not just injure Makepekepe’s ego but will seriously dent the log leaders’ title hopes.
Coach Tonderai Ndiraya, who has done well with an inexperienced Dynamos outfit since taking over from Lloyd Chigowe four matches into the season, said his charges will be aiming to upstage their rivals in order to enhance their top four hopes.
“I think it has been a long time since we last beat CAPS United in a league match. We are going there to get a result. A derby is a big match and the players need to go out there and enjoy themselves,” Ndiraya said.
“I think what is very important is what is on offer. CAPS United are fighting for the championship while we also pushing to get into the top four. That is not a secret.
“We have worked so hard to get where we are and we have a very good chance to get into the top four.
“We are just two points away from top four. Ironically, we are also just a point away from going drastically down.”
In the reverse fixture, the two teams could not be separated as it ended 1-all.
If Caps win Sunday’s match, they are almost certain to get the much-needed psychological boost to finish their last two crucial matches.
CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo said he was anticipating an exciting Harare derby as it comes at a time Dynamos were enjoying a modest run of good form.
“Derbies are always difficult, and it will not be easy facing Dynamos. But I am happy we are facing them at a time they are enjoying good form. It makes it interesting. It even motivates us. But looking at the boys at training, there is great desire, there is hunger and enthusiasm.
“We really want to win this one and we are going for maximum points and nothing less,” said Dodo.
Makepekepe will head into the eagerly awaited encounter without their top scorer John Zhuwawo who is suspended but Dodo can still call upon Newman Sianchali to do the job.
The former Highlanders star recently rose from the bench to score a brace which propelled Caps to victory against ZPC Kariba.
Goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga is expected to make a return to the side after being substituted in the first half of the 2-2 draw against Yadah last weekend.
FULL Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Fixtures
Saturday: Bulawayo Chiefs v Chicken Inn (Luveve), Harare City v Yadah (Rufaro)
Sunday: Black Rhinos v Ngezi (Rufaro), CAPS v Dynamos (NSS), Mushowani v TelOne (Trojan Mine), Hwange v Herentals (Colliery), Triangle v ZPC Kariba (Gibbo), Highlanders v Manica (BF), Chapungu v FC Platinum (Ascot)