Harare giants Dynamos will have a chance to catch up with the joint log leaders Motor Action and FC Platinum when they host Shabanie Mine in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro Sunday.
Pacesetters Mighty Bulls and FC Platinum, who are tied on 40 points, meet in a crucial top-of-the-table clash at Mandava in a match that will have a strong bearing on the destiny of the league title.
This presents a golden opportunity for third-placed DeMbare, who are seven points adrift of the summit of the log, to claw their way back into contention if they manage to beat Shabanie.
Callisto Pasuwa began his reign at the helm at Dynamos with a comfortable 4-1 win over Shooting Stars and another win today would further endear him to the club’s supporters.
Although Pasuwa and his men will be the favourites to collect three points in this match, Shabanie are quite capable of causing an upset despite occupying 13th position on the log after winning just four of their 20 matches this season.
Pasuwa refused to speak to the media after his training session yesterday, referring all questions to his assistant Tichaona Diya, who said they would be taking the match against Shabanie very seriously as they look to revive their championship campaign.
“It’s a very important match for us, as you are quite aware that every match for Dynamos is always like a cup final. There are no easy games at this stage of the season and we are going to be taking this match very seriously. We know Shabanie are fighting relegation and would want to do well, but we are confident that we will do well,” said Diya.
The dreadlocked former DeMbare shot stopper said with the exception of defender David Kutyauripo, who was a major doubt for this match, the rest of the team was raring to go as they did not have any injury worries.
“Kutyauripo is not 100 percent fit yet and is a major doubt for this match. Murape Murape has now fully recovered and is available for this match. We have don’t have any players who are suspended so the coach will be able to select his best squad for the match which is good for us,” said Diya.
Pasuwa will be spoiled for choice upfront where his strikeforce has been boosted by the return of the talismanic Cuthbert Malajila, who hit the grounding running with a goal on his return against Shooting Stars last Sunday.
Shabanie, who are now coached by Luke Masomere, will be desperate for a positive result in this match to brighten their chances of surviving relegation.
Last weekend the asbestos miners blew an opportunity to move out of the relegation zone after they lost 2-1 at home to Gunners at Maglas.
Given the importance of this match, Shabanie are likely to give former Orlando Pirates defender Zvenyika Makonese his first start since rejoining the Zvishavane-based club.
Meanwhile, the battle for survival in the league hots up today with the bottom four teams in action in the capital as they seek to improve their chances of surviving the chop come the end of the season.
Rejuvenated Gunners, who under Moses Chunga have transformed from being strong relegation favourites to a consistent mid-table team, host Zimbabwe Saints at Lafarge.
Ephraim Chawanda’s Saints, who occupy 14th position, are staring the chop, while Gunners would want to continue doing well at home. Former champions Monomotapa host 15th-placed Shooting Stars while league anchors Kiglon clash with Blue Ribbon Stars at Gwanzura.
Meanwhile, league matches involving police side Black Mambas have been put on hold as the team has players in the SARPCCO Games squad currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo.