HomeSportSoccerCaps United face old arch-rivals Dynamos at Rufaro

Caps United face old arch-rivals Dynamos at Rufaro

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After a week of intense preparations, talk and threats, the stage is now set for arguably the biggest game on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League calendar, the 69th edition of the Harare Derby whose build up has generated a media hype.

Caps United take on old enemy Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium today seeking to dislodge their rivals from their lofty pedestal as the most successful team in their derbies in recent years.

Both teams go into the big battle against the background of poor form stuck uncharacteristically in midtable with the season at its halfway stage.

Dynamos, who have played three games less, are seventh with 24 points while Caps are ninth with 19 points. But this wont lessen the spark usually generated by this derby.

United, already 14 points off the pace at this stage of the campaign, appear to have surrendered the title chase, but a win against their enemy will always make up for the disappointment of failing to lift the championship they last won in 2005.

The Green Machine, now under the guidance of manager Sean Connor and coach Lloyd Chitembwe, have not defeated Dynamos in their clashes in the past two years.

In 2010, DeMbare emerged on top after drawing 0-0 and winning 2-1. Last year, Tawanda Muparati broke the hearts of Caps United faithfuls when he came off the bench to ghost in for the winner the only goal of the match. In the reverse fixture, Rodreck Mutuma sank a memorable brace for a 2-1 victory.

But United, who lost their last two matches to Highlanders and Hwange, have insisted form and statistics do not count in derbies.

They will be banking on the creative abilities of midfielders Tawanda Munyanduri and Tendai Samanja while in attack Connor has various options with Rahman Kutsanzira, whose stock continues to rise, and the vastly experienced Shingi Kawondera and new signing Leonard Fiyado available for selection.

But Nyasha Mukumbi and his defence will have to bottle up Dynamos Rodreck Mutuma, who is likely to be the torch bearer of their attack after Takesure Chinyama left to join Orlando Pirates.

Mutuma the top goal scorer last season with a mere 14 goals might have been struggling this season, but believes he will be able to shoulder the huge responsibility in attack. I am now used to playing in these derbies and am confident we will get a positive result. said Mutuma.

I think it will be a difficult match. There is always pressure when playing for Dynamos, but the difference in this game is that it is a derby and everyone wants to give his best.

Dynamos, whose confidence was boosted after drawing 1-1 with leaders Highlanders at Barbourfields last Sunday, will also be banking on playmaker Denver Mukamba, who joined the team on Thursday after jetting into the country on Wednesday from South Africa.

New signing Cliff Sekete and rising stars Tichaona Mabvura and Farai Mupasiri provide options for coach Kalisto Pasuwa.

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