DYNAMOS have said they will field their strongest teams for both their Castle Lager Premiership football tie against bottom side Chiredzi FC at Rufaro Stadium today and the inaugural $110 000 TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup against old foes Highlanders on Saturday.
The champions are facing serious financial challenges which saw their players boycott training three weeks ago, demanding payment of outstanding allowances.
And they see the coming-in of the TM Pick n Pay Challenge match as a window of opportunity for them to turn their books from red to black.
Kalisto Pasuwa’s men also have their eyes on the championship and are aware any slip-up could dent their chances of reaching the Promised Land, having been knocked out of the cash-rich Chibuku Super Cup.
Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro yesterday said they would go all out to win the match against Chiredzi FC today and also to lift the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup.
“We are faced with two difficult assignments — the league match against Chiredzi FC and the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup against Highlanders. We want to win both matches so we are going to field our best team. It doesn’t matter that Chiredzi are at the bottom on the league table,” Chihoro said.
“These are the most dangerous teams and we know if we lose against Chiredzi FC, we will relinquish top spot and could be out of the race, so we cannot afford to field fringe players because we are playing the bottom team on the league table.
“We are also desperate to win the Challenge Cup against Highlanders because there is a lot of money at stake.
“We will have strong squads for both matches. All our players are available for selection save for Masimba Mambare who is still nursing an injury.”
Mambare has been sidelined with injury for the past six months after joining the Harare side as a free agent after his contract at Highlanders had lapsed.
But after playing in the Caf Champions League, things have not been rosy for the former Mighty Bulls man and he will certainly look back at a year gone awry.
Winners of the TM Challenge Cup are set to walk away with
$60 000 while runners-up will get $50 000, meaning the two are fighting for a $10 000 difference — a huge amount indeed.
And given the financial problems at Dynamos, they would want to win the biggest pay cheque on the day.
Dynamos are coming from a 2-1 win over Triangle having been held to a 1-1 draw by Hwange in a midweek match.
They also powered their way into the final of the NetOne Wallet Cup after they defeated How Mine 2-0 in the semi-finals last weekend.
Chiredzi, under the guidance of Gishon Ntini who took over from Moses Chunga, are at the foot of the table with a paltry 11 points from 21 matches.
They have won just two matches, drawn five and lost 14 since the start of the campaign.
They have lost their last three matches against Hwange (0-2), Chicken Inn (0-1) and Caps United (0-3).
Ntini could also be without some of his key players — David Temwanjira, Tawanda Muyendi and Ronald Sengu — who picked up some knocks and were expected to pass late fitness tests.
After their assignment against Dynamos, Chiredzi will host fellow strugglers Bantu Rovers in their next match.
The Harare side lead the league table with 39 points from the same number of matches with Highlanders and ZPC Kariba trailing on 38 points each.
They were also boosted by their recent triumph over How Mine which saw them reaching the final of the NetOne Wallet Cup in which they will meet Triangle.
However, for today’s match, they will be without defender Thomas Magorimbo, who is suspended after accumulating three yellow cards against ZPC Kariba on April 13, Caps United on July 27 and last week against Triangle at Gibbo.
Today: Chapungu v Chicken Inn (Ascot Stadium), Dynamos v Chiredzi (Rufaro Stadium), Highlanders v Buffaloes (Hartsfield Stadium), Black Rhinos v Harare City (Rimuka Stadium), Triangle United v FC Platinum (Gibbo Stadium)
Tomorrow: Shabanie Mine v Hwange (Maglas Stadium ), Bantu Rovers v Caps United (Hartsfield Stadium)
Friday: How Mine v ZPC Kariba (Hartsfield Stadium)