David Kutyauripo returns to the Dynamos squad for the crunch Castle Lager Premiership tie against Hwange at the Colliery tomorrow, in a match that could make or break the two teams’ season.
This is one match Dynamos just cannot afford to lose if they are to win the Premiership title which has eluded them since the last one in 2007.
The Harare giants are second on the log with 48 points, just one behind log leaders FC Platinum who welcome Shabanie Mine at Mandava Stadium in a potentially explosive Zvishavane derby tomorrow.
Hwange, on the other hand, are on 43 points and have declared themselves as a serious dark horse for the title.
The Tenant Chilumba-coached side will need to win the match to keep alive their faint hopes of snatching the title ahead of the leading teams.
However, there is no doubt it is Dynamos who have a lot to lose in this match — more than the hosts.
A loss will see FC Platinum opening a four-point gap — in case they beat Shabanie – with three rounds of matches to go.
The mere fact that Dynamos will meet third-placed Motor Action and then the log leaders in the next two weeks means they have to win this comparatively “easy” match at all cost. And they will still play Platinum at Mandava.
The Harare giants received a major boost ahead of the must-win match with the return to the team from “injury” of Kutyauripo.
The roving right-back missed his teams’ last two matches; a 3-1 league win over Highlanders a fortnight ago and a 3-0 win over Shooting Stars in the Mbada Diamonds Cup last week.
Dynamos last week said Kutyauripo missed the two matches due to an injury despite the player playing the entire match in the reserves.
Sources at Dynamos, however, revealed the defender pulled a “Carlos Tevez” at training, refusing to come off the bench when asked to, a stunt that infuriated coach Calisto Pasuwa.
Assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya when naming his final travelling squad insisted the defender was injured.
Leading goalscorer Rodreck Mutuma is out due to suspension.
To prepare his team for the sweltering temperatures of Hwange, Pasuwa from Tuesday resorted to afternoon training sessions.
As for Hwange, they are the form team at the moment.
They have amassed 16 points from a possible 18 to gatecrash into the top four. That extraordinary achievement for Hwange this season has been built on a solid home record where the team has lost just twice to FC Platinum and Highlanders.
Hwange will no doubt be banking on that excellent home record and the abnormally hot temperatures to undo Dynamos.
A lot of teams have crumbled whenever they visit the Colliery fortress, but Dynamos have enjoyed considerable success at that intimidating venue.
In the four times the two teams have met in the league since 2006, three have ended victoriously for Dynamos with the fourth one ending in a loss for the Harare giants.
In 2006, Hwange won 3-2 at the Colliery before Dynamos turned the tables with a 2-1 win. Hwange were relegated to Division One in the same year.
Dynamos completed a double over the returning Hwange in 2009, with a 1-0 win in Hwange and a 2-0 in the reverse fixture in Harare.
Last year, two goals from Guthrie Zhokinyi and Benjamin Marere carried the day for Dynamos in Hwange before the coal miners overturned the result in the reverse fixture. This year’s encounter at Rufaro ended in a goalless draw.