THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League returns after a six-week break on Wednesday with the FC Platinum-Caps United clash at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane the pick of the action.
Platinum, now under Lloyd Mutasa, have never beaten United, who are themselves unbeaten in their last eight outings which have seen them rise to fourth place with 31 points, one behind defending champions Dynamos.
Saul Chaminuka, United’s assistant coach, says their biggest undoing could be the long break.
“We had the momentum and I strongly believe had we not gone on the break we could be in second position or even on top by this time. But this has also given time to players like Rahman Kutsanzira and Dominic Chungwa to recover from injuries and we are taking a full squad with the sole aim of maintaining our dominance and taking all the three points,” the former Buffaloes coach said.
At Platinum, change after change on the technical bench has been their worst enemy. After starting the season with Tennant Chilumba, who is back in Zambia with Power Dynamos, they have seen Tendai Chikuni taking charge of a single match before Mutasa was brought in.
After just two games, Mutasa brought in Masimba Dinyero as assistant coach to replace Chikuni, who was carted off to the development side.
“That was done to strengthen the technical department and I believe you’re going to see a team that will be ready to compete against CAPS United and take its place among the best in the league,” Mutasa said.
He faces Tafadzwa Dube, the goalkeeper who was shown the door at the platinum miners at the start of the season, but is now the number one at both CAPS and national team.
Charles Sibanda, Nelson Maziwisa and Ali Sadiki have been with the national team and bring back a wealth of experience.
Big striker Donald Ngoma, who was on trial at South African Super Diski side AmaZulu, is back at Platinum after he failed to seal a deal.
Leaders Harare City face a test of character against relegation threatened Tripple B at dusty Beitbridge stadium, Dulibadzimu, on the same day. City has 37 points, three ahead of Highlanders while Tripple B are in 15th place with just 16 points.
Highlanders travel to Black Mambas at Morris Depot on Thursday and they could find themselves six points adrift before they even kick a ball depending on Wednesday’s results.Advertisement
Dynamos, third with 32 points, have an easier task against bottom placed Motor Action at Rufaro on Thursday.
Monomotapa v Hwange (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Caps United (Mandava), Tripple B v Harare City (Dulibadzimu), Chicken Inn v How Mine (Barbourfields)
Shabanie Mine v Buffaloes (Maglas), Dynamos v Motor Action (Rufaro), Triangle United v Black Rhinos (Gibbo), Black Mambas v Highlanders (Morris Depot)