Chunga threatens Platinum title charge

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FC Platinum’s title charge could be checked by stubborn Gunners when the two sides meet in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Lafarge Stadium on Saturday.

Platinum last weekend opened a four-point gap at the top after dismissing Black Mambas 3-1, while their nearest rivals Dynamos fell 1-0 at Masvingo United.

The results put the platinum miners’ championship chase at an advantage, but this Saturday they will be under intense probe from a youthful Gunners side known to cause upsets.

Rahman Gumbo and his men enter into battle intent on clearing the Gunners hurdle and crossing the finishing line first in a league race that began seven months ago.

But Moses Chunga’s sixth-placed squad will be eager to snatch a win and brighten chances of finishing in the top four.

The rivalry between the two sides also stems from lavish spending Platinum’s raiding of the Gunners camp during pre-season when they lured Daniel Vheremu, Norman Togara, Norman Maroto and goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube.

But the Harare side got an early revenge and laughed all the way to Harare when they stunned Platinum with a 3-0 win at Maglas Stadium in the reverse fixture back in May, when they were at the bottom of the log then.

Chunga yesterday said they will burst the wealthy platinum miners’ bubble.

“We prepare week in week out to play and win, but we are not putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure.

Both teams want three points, but we will do everything we can to make sure we win. I cannot promise anything at the moment, but I will just do my job in a manner which is commendable,” said Chunga.
He said all players are available for selection.

Chunga picked up a Gunners team which was struggling during the mid-season, but has transformed it and launched a sensational comeback.

Platinum have put behind six torrid winless games, they seek to continue with a good run which started with an away 2-0 victory over Blue Ribbon three weeks ago.

Club secretary Phillimon Muvengwa yesterday said they were cautious of their opponents, but confident of claiming three points. “The match is going to be very tough.

They play good football and they are capable of stopping our good run. Remember this is the same side which beat us 3-0 in our own backyard sometime back. But we will beat them,” Muvengwa said.

Platinum welcome back steely defender Daniel Vheremu who has just returned from national duty while winger Charles Sibanda will be winding up his two-match suspension.

Gunners’ Mitchell Katsvairo will look to continue where he left off from when his goal sunk Kiglon last weekend while Ali Sadiki and Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe can be a handful to the platinum miners.