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Dynamos vs Highlanders: The big one


DEFENDING champions Dynamos will open a five-point lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League standings if they beat Highlanders in this Sunday’s epic battle at Rufaro Stadium.


Dynamos have 58 points from 25 matches, while Highlanders are two points behind from the same number of matches.

With five matches to go before the end of the season, Dynamos will have one hand on the title and a return to the Caf Champions League next season after a poor 2011 campaign.

The two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Barbourfields Stadium in the reverse fixture, and Dynamos hold the momentum after storming into the last four of the million-dollar Mbada Diamonds Cup.

Interestingly, Sunday’s match comes in the middle of Asiagate scandal bans that have rocked the Zimbabwean football landscape with the defending champions’ skipper Guthrie Zhokinyi affected.

Zhokinyi, who was dropped for the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final against Gunners at Baghdad Stadium at the weekend, was slapped with a life ban for his involvement in the Asia games.

More bans, which could affect both sides, will be announced on Friday.

Bosso lost 3-2 to Monomotapa at the Colliery to bow out of the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

But they look forward to beating Dynamos and open a one-point lead and forge ahead as their centre of focus has turned to the Premiership.

Dynamos, who are eyeing another double this year, hope to maintain their dominance over a Bosso side that last won the league title in 2006 under Methembe Ndlovu.

It was also in that season that Highlanders completed a double over Dynamos, winning 1-0 in Harare via a Ralph Matema header, while Vusa Nyoni ensured another victory at Barbourfields in the reverse fixture.

The top spot has been changing hands between the two clubs with Dynamos maintaining their stranglehold before the two-week break when they beat Hwange 2-0 at the Colliery, with goals from in-form Denver Mukamba and Tawanda Muparati.

The chase appeared to be slipping away from Bosso when they hosted Black Mambas at Barbourfields on the same day before right-back Lawson Nkomo rifled a stinger in added time that kept the Bulawayo giants on track in a match that looked headed for a goalless deadlock.

Highlanders players went on strike two weeks ago protesting against unpaid winning bonuses before they returned to training last Wednesday in preparation for their cup tie which they lost to Monomotapa. Many attributing the defeat to lack of fitness due to the industrial action.

After resting on Monday, they trained at White City Stadium yesterday morning as they started preparations for the epic battle.

Monomotapa v Black Mambas (Rufaro Stadium), Quelaton v Harare City (Luveve Stadium), Blue Rangers v Motor Action (Gwanzura Stadium), FC Platinum v Chicken Inn (Mandava Stadium)

Hardbody v Shabanie Mine (Ascot Stadium), Dynamos v Highlanders (Rufaro Stadium), Buffaloes v Hwange (Sakubva Stadium), Caps United v Gunners (Gwanzura Stadium)

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