Caps lock horns with Blue Ribbon


Castle Lager Premiership log leaders Caps United resume their bid to win the title after a three-year drought when they engage Blue Ribbon at Rufaro Stadium on Thursday.

After a week break to accommodate the Independence Trophy, normal programmes restart today with four matches lined up and action continues tomorrow for the remaining teams as they look to gain maximum points in early stages of the competition.

Just to put things into perspective, relegation threatened Shooting Stars lock horns with league champions Motor Action at Gwanzura Stadium desperate for a first win this season while equally troubled Black Mambas host second-placed Chicken Inn at Morris Depot.

Zimbabwe Saints, who are blowing hot and cold welcome Premier League returnees Masvingo United at Luveve Stadium but all eyes would be at Rufaro to see if Moses Chunga’s Caps United will continue with their impressive run.

The Green Machine has started the season with a bang, beating opponents with vicious efficiency.
They have accounted for Zimbabwe Saints, Shooting Stars and Shabanie Mine, scoring a massive 14 goals in the process, but Chunga will be the first to admit that the teams he has faced so far are below par or just mediocre.

Chauya Chikwata are hovering just above the relegation zone after collecting just three points from three matches while Shabanie and Shooting Stars anchor the log with no point at all.

In high-flying Blue Ribbon, Caps United will be presented with what looks like tough opposition.

The Premiership new boys have taken the league by storm, drawing their first match to Chicken Inn before dispatching Black Mambas and Shooting Stars.

Former Monomotapa strikers, Cabby Kamhapa and Daniel Kamunhenga, have so far proved to be reliable goal getters for the Tamba Wakaguta boys and could be a handful for the sieving Caps United rearguard who have sifted in five goals in three matches.

While Chunga should be having headaches with his shaky backline, there is no doubt that his dream striking partnership of Evans Gwekwerere and Simba Sithole is the best in the land at the moment.

Blue Ribbon’s defence marshaled by former Dynamos defender Brighton Tuwaya, should be quaking in their boots at the prospect of meeting the two, who have contributed most of Caps United’s 14 goals.

Troubled Dynamos, still smarting from the Highlanders defeat in the Uhuru Trophy, host their bogey side Hwange at Rufaro Stadium on Friday, in what is indeed the highest profile match of the day’s fixtures.

The significance of the match to the two teams cannot be overemphasized. Both teams want to win the match for two crucial reasons.

After the morale-shattering Highlanders defeat, the potential ramifications of another defeat or even a draw for the under fire coach Lloyd Mutasa against a lowly side is unimaginable.

The only good news in the seemingly distressed Dynamos camp is the return into the team of the midfield quartet of Archford Gutu, Denver Mukamba, Devon Chafa and Timire Mamvura, whose absence in the last game was severely felt.

As for Hwange, only three games into the season and their ship is already sailing in turbulent waters.
With only two points to show for their efforts so far, the Tenant Chilumba coached side is on position 13 and are already involved in the relegation dogfight.

Buoyant Highlanders who have been flying high since coach Mkhuphali Masuku took over affairs at the club, travel to Lafarge Stadium to play as guests to 2009 league champions Gunners.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures

Thursday: Shooting Stars v Motor Action (Gwanzura Stadium), Blue Ribbon v CAPS United (Rufaro Stadium), Zimbabwe Saints v Masvingo United (Luveve), Black Mambas v Chicken Inn (Morris Depot)

Friday: Dynamos v Hwange (Rufaro), Gunners v Highlanders (Lafarge), Monomotapa v Kiglon (Gwanzura), Shabanie v FC Platinum (Maglas).