THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League returns next Wednesday to take the action to the halfway stage and relieve a grieving nation of the misery of the Warriors’ 4-2 thumping by Egypt in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
After the two-week break, which ends this weekend with the Warriors facing Guinea in another World Cup qualifier, tricky ties have been lined up for the title-chasing trio of leaders Highlanders, champions Dynamos and third-placed Harare City.
To add to that, seven players — two from Chicken Inn and one from Dynamos (25 points) — have been suspended going into Week 14.
Highlanders (29 points) will take on Chicken Inn (23 points) at Barbourfields next Wednesday in a clash with their former coach Mkhuphali Masuku, who has been appointed the GameCox assistant coach while Dynamos will be away to Buffaloes at Sakubva.
Thabani Goredema and Moses Jackson are suspended for Chicken Inn while Highlanders have a plethora of injuries in their camp which forced them to cancel last weekend’s friendly against Tripple B at Dulibadzimu. The log leaders have a date against Black Rhinos this Sunday at Barbourfields in a ZNA Charity match at Barbourfields.
Next, after Chicken Inn, for Highlanders it is Caps United at the National Sports Stadium. Caps have not had any luck against Highlanders in the last few seasons and worse for the Green Machine, the log leaders are yet to lose away from home this season.
Buffaloes will have a new man in charge in Timothy Masachi, who took over from Saul Chaminuka, who has relocated to Caps United as an assistant to Taurayi Mangwiro. And there is no doubt the immense pressure that the new man will have against the unbeaten champions.
Tawanda Muparati is out for Dynamos while Cliff Sekete and Francisco Zekumbawira are back in training and could be fit next week.
Zekumbawira, on loan from Hwange, has suffered from serious injuries that have kept him off the pitch since the start of the league campaign.
Harare City (25 points) will have to get past Monomotapa and Hwange next week to have any say in the destiny of the title. The Colliery match will be tricky for Bigboy Mawiwi’s side, but three points could be on offer from Monomotapa, who have been blowing hot and cold this season.
Relegation fighters Black Rhinos and Tripple B do battle at Gwanzura, with the Beitbridge side missing Webster Chingodza through suspension. The soldiers will be without veteran captain Brighton Chandisaita, also through suspension.
Wednesday June 19: Black Mambas vs Shabanie (Morris Depot), Highlanders vs Chicken Inn (Barbourfields), Buffaloes vs Dynamos (Sakubva, SS9 1500hrs), Black Rhinos vs Tripple B (Rimuka), Caps United vs Hwange (NSS), Motor Action vs FC Platinum (Motor Action Sports Club)
Thursday June 20: How Mine vs Triangle (Luveve), , Harare City vs Monomotapa (Rufaro SS9 1500hrs)
Saturday June 22: Tripple B vs Buffaloes (Dulibadzimu), FC Platinum vs Black Rhinos (Mandava), Caps United vs Highlanders (NSS SS9 1500hrs)
Sunday June 23: Shabanie Mine vs Chicken Inn (Maglas), Triangle vs Black Mambas (Gibbo), Dynamos vs How Mine (Rufaro SS9 1500hrs), Monomotapa vs Motor Action (Gwanzura), Hwange vs Harare City (Colliery)