Can Eagles stop the Dynamos juggernaut from coasting to their eighth consecutive Premier Soccer League victory this afternoon at Rufaro?
Eagles believe so as the two teams prepare to resume league action suspended due to the just- ended World Cup.
Dynamos have an impressive 100 % record from their first seven matches and coach Elvis Chiweshe will have an opportunity to assess his team ahead of the Champions League game with TP Mazembe on Sunday.
And going into the match, Dynamos’ form before the break does not suggest they can easily lose.
On the other hand Eagles have enjoyed a decent start to the season and occupy fourth spot on the log standings, a position that has surpassed pre-season expectations.
Last season, Eagles who are also known as the “Dutch” by their supporters because of their orange kit, collected four points in their two matches against Dynamos.
In their first league match in Marondera on October 16 last year, the “Dutch” posted a shock 1-2 win over Dynamos before the two teams settled for a goalless draw at Rufaro.
In an interview with NewsDay, Eagles coach Partridge Muskwe said although they respected Dynamos, his team was ready for today’s game.
“Dynamos are a good side but we have been preparing for this game for some time now because we didn’t break for the World Cup and we hope to come out with a good result,” said Muskwe.
Eagles have been playing so well that two of their players—striker Clive Kawinga and goalkeeper Knowledge Jimu have become Dynamos’ targets as they seek to strengthen their squad ahead of the Caf Champions League mini-league matches.
However, Muskwe said although he was yet to hear anything about the deal involving Jimu and Kawinga, his team would cope even in their absence.
“Actually both players are training with us at the moment and until the deal is finalised, they will remain Eagles players although I don’t know if they will feature tomorrow (today),” he said.
“We have done very well after we lost our captain Courage Denias to Caps United. For us to be where we are right now, it’s all because of team work because we don’t rely on any individuals.
“We are promising our fans that we will going come back to Marondera with a positive result,” he said.
Eagles are in fourth position with 13 points from eight matches, eight points behind Dynamos who have played a game less. While Eagles have conceded five goals, the mean Dynamos defence has conceded only one goal.
Eagles team manager Desmond Ali echoed Muskwe’s sentiments and said Dynamos should expect a surprise after his club roped in a number of youngsters from their junior ranks during the transfer window period.
“We haven’t bought any big- name players because we believe in giving the youngsters a chance and some of them could feature in the game against Dynamos,” said Ali.
Club owner Stan Kudenga attended the M and H Under-17 soccer tournament where he was accompanied by his club scouts.
For Dynamos, this is an opportunity to get their players in shape ahead of Sunday’s crunch tie, although there is uncertainty about the availability of striker Cuthbert Malajila for today’s match.
Caps United will play their match against Shooting Stars in Gweru next week after they return from Sudan where they are to play Al Hilal in the last 16 of the Caf Confederations Cup. They leave for Sudan tomorrow.
Today: Eagles vs Dynamos (Rufaro)
Saturday: Monomotapa v Highlanders (Rufaro), Kiglon v Douglas Warriors (Gwanzura), Motor Action v Black Mambas (Callies)
Sunday: FC Victoria v Shabanie (Mucheke), Bantu Rovers v Gunners (Hartsfield), Hwange v Lengthens (Colliery), Shooting Stars v Caps United (postponed)