DYNAMOS have plunged into a defensive crisis ahead of the Harare derby against Caps United on Sunday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA/HENRY MHARA
Lanky centre back, Sydney Linyama has been ruled out of the Rufaro Stadium clash, joining Elisha Muroiwa, who is suspended and long-term absentee captain, Augustine Mbara.
Linyama is struggling with an ankle injury and has failed to recover in time to feature in the league’s most popular fixture.
Coach Tonderai Ndiraya could be forced to deploy Obey Mwerahari and utility player, Godknows Murwira as cover, while Stephen Alimenda has played in that position before.
While admitting that the injuries and suspension had dealt his team a blow, Ndiraya said he has enough cover.
Matches against Caps carry a lot of weight and a defeat on Sunday could intensify pressure on Ndiraya, especially after his side failed to win the Chibuku Super Cup last Sunday.
DeMbare face a Caps United side hard-pressed to prove a point against a side that they have failed to beat in the last six years.
Caps United coach, Lloyd Chitembwe is aiming for a top four finish, but believes his team should be targeting for honours and knows a good performance will thrust the green army of the Caps fans into the festive mood.
The former Caps United midfielder, who fought many battles against Dynamos in his career as a player, is the last Makepekepe coach to beat Dynamos in a league match, way back in April 2009.
Nyasha Mushekwi netted a brace in a 2-0 triumph and since then, the Green Machine has been living in the shadows of their bitter rivals.
But Chitembwe, who bounced back as coach two months ago, says that only helps to give his side a psychological boost going into the league match.
“That only helps to give us confidence. But history should be left for the archives. We will try to go out there and do well. I believe we have quality in our squad. We have good players that can see us break the Dynamos jinx. The players have been fantastic in training.
“They are pumped up. We are spoilt for choice, all of the 25 players we have are eager to play on Sunday. I can’t really wait to see the players perform at a big stage on Sunday,” he said.
“This is a very important fixture in many ways. It draws interest from the generality of the population. It’s also important in terms of revenue generation. We have been psyching up the players, they now know what is at stake in terms of opportunities for their careers. I expect a good game.”
Caps United have been struggling for goals and drew their last two matches against Harare City 0-0 and Flame Lily 1-1.
The Green Machine were, however, fretting over the fitness of chief striker, Leonard Tsipa.
Chitembwe remains confident he will shrug off the injury and play against Dynamos.
Dynamos on the other hand, will be without Muroiwa, who is serving a suspension for accumulating three yellow cards.
Ndiraya acknowledged that they faced an important fixture against the backdrop of a defeat in the Chibuku Super Cup.
“It’s a challenge to be facing Caps coming from a defeat in the Chibuku Super Cup. We have been psyching up the players so that they get over the disappointment of losing to Harare City in the Chibuku Super Cup.
We have a good record against Caps United and we want to try and maintain that dominance,” he said.
Dynamos, who are six points off the top in the title race, believe they still have a mathematical chance of laying their hands on the league title for an unprecedented fifth successive year.