Dynamos midfielder Archford Gutu is sweating over an ankle injury ahead of Sunday’s 67th Harare Derby against Caps United in the Castle Lager Premiership at the National Sports Stadium.
The two fierce rivals engage each other at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday in a match that could determine the future of both coaches Moses Chunga of Caps United and Dynamos’ Lloyd Mutasa.
The talented playmaker, who missed his side’s 2-1 loss to Blue Ribbon last Sunday, is in camp with the Young Warriors squad ahead of the Zone VI All-Africa Games final round qualifier against South Africa on Saturday next week.
Gutu trained with the rest of the team in their first training session on Tuesday, but sat out yesterday’s afternoon training as he struggled with the nagging injury.
“I received a knock on my ankle during the morning training session and it’s a bit painful,” said Gutu. “I will just have to pray so that I will be fine and available for the game because the Harare derby is a game no player wants to miss,” added Gutu.
The midfielder received the knock in Dynamos’ 4-1 win over Black Mambas where he scored two classical goals from free-kicks and his withdrawal for the Blue Ribbon match was seen as a precautionary measure ahead of the derby.
It will be a big blow to Mutasa’s game plan if the Warriors midfielder fails to recover in time.
Gutu’s box-to-box energy, ball-winning capabilities and creativity has made him an integral part of the Dynamos’ squad of 2011 and his growing status is such that whenever he is not available, the team struggles.
As was evident last week in his absence, the Dynamos midfielders struggled with their game, giving away possession with amateurish regularity.
His combination with fellow midfielder and personal friend Denver Mukamba has been the cornerstone on which the Dynamos have flourished this season and without Gutu last week, Mukamba was virtually anonymous.
But there is some positive news for Dynamos with Guthrie Zhokinyi set to make a comeback into the team for the first time in a month after recovering from a knee injury.
The defender is set to replace Gift Bello who struggled with his game against Blue Ribbon, conceding the two penalties that sank Dynamos.
With the Green Machine just two points ahead of their arch rivals Dynamos, there is very little differentiating the two teams in terms of their log standings.
The Green Machine has 21 points from 13 matches but a Dynamos win will see them go above their rivals.
The last time the two teams met at the Sunday match venue in a competitive match was in the BancABC Cup final when Dynamos beat Caps United 3-2 with Gutu scoring the decisive goal.
The two teams met again early this year at Rufaro in the Bob 87 Super Cup and the Glamour Boys once again won 3-2, with Gutu striking a brace.
The match has been spruced up by reports suggesting that Dynamos are chasing the signature of Caps United want-away striker Clive Kawinga while Chunga has hit back, saying he wants Dynamos striker Rodrick Mutuma to replace the departing Simba Sithole.