CAPS United striker Tawanda Nyamandwe expects the Premier Soccer League title race to go down to the wire, predicting plenty more twists and turns ahead of the Green Machine’s clash with a Ronald Chitiyo-less Monomotapa at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
The Harare derby is one in a full programme of Castle Premiership action which could have far-reaching repercussions on the way the log table will look like tomorrow evening and subsequently at the end of the season.
Log leaders Harare City welcome fifth-placed FC Platinum at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon in a match the hosts would want to win at any cost, while champions Dynamos, second on the table, travel to Kadoma for a tricky fixture against Black Rhinos at Rimuka Stadium.
Fourth-placed Chicken Inn, without suspended talisman Kuda Mahachi, are also on the road this weekend as they face off with Black Mambas, while Highlanders are at home to Hwange.
But the biggest story in the league in recent weeks has been the Caps United revival.
Their unbeaten run was stretched to seven matches last week when Nyamandwe rescued a point with a late equaliser at Hwange.
Nyamandwe remains optimistic about Caps’ title chances this term as the Green Machine trail table-toppers Harare City by six points.
The big striker was a second-half substitute when Caps met Monoz in the reverse fixture, but he is hoping for a starting berth in a match he is looking forward to doing well.
“Playing against a former club is always special for players and it’s a match one always looks forward to,” Nyamandwe said yesterday.
“Players want to do well when playing against a former club and it’s not different with me. I will do my best although I know it won’t be an easy match. Monoz are playing good football and are capable of beating any team, but we have prepared well for this match.”
Nyamandwe added: “The log table is so congested that it’s not clear as yet on who will win the league. The race is still open and any team can win it. I think this race will go to the final match of the season.”
So congested is the top of the log that Caps United, currently on sixth position, can move to second if they win against their bogey side and results elsewhere go in their favour.
Monomotapa are on 10th position, but they can move into the top eight with a win tomorrow.
Nyamandwe is expected to lead an attack looking to unlock a Monoz side whom they have failed to beat, never mind to score against, since 2010.
However, Caps will find encouragement from their recent form especially at home where they have won three times in as many matches.
“We need to maintain the winning streak and anything can happen. We still have a very good chance and we must keep playing well,” Nyamandwe said.
The Taurai Mangwiro-coached side goes into the match without Hardlife Zvirekwi and Tafadzwa Dube who are with Chitiyo in Zambia, while hard-tackling defender Arnold Chivheya is suspended.
Just like Caps United, Dynamos will be looking to keep up with pacesetters.
The league champions are fretting over the fitness of strikers Washington Pakamisa, Patrick Kumbula and Francesco Zekumbawira.
Already, the team is missing the services of Devon Chafa and Ocean Mushure, who are also in Zambia.
Harare City can extend their lead at the top with a win against FC Platinum today.
The Sunshine Boys are starting to look very much the team to beat at they continue to power result after result.