NIGERIAN international striker, Abasirim Chidiebere is delighted to play his first Harare derby and is confident his team, Caps United, will bag maximum points against arch-rivals Dynamos when the two teams clash in a Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Chidiebere, one of the tallest strikers in the domestic Premiership, has struggled to break into the starting line-up despite the departure of chief striker, Abbas Amidu, who has found a new home in Saudi Arabia.
The imposing Nigerian, who has previously played his club football in Tanzania, however, remains a darling of the Caps United fans, who are charmed by his confidence and runs off the ball.
On the few occasions he has been given an opportunity, the fans have cheered his every touch of the ball.
With Dominic Chungwa, who has taken over as the torch-bearer of the Caps United attack, on suspension, coach, Lloyd Chitembwe is set to deploy the Nigerian in attack to partner John Zhuwawo, a former Gunners forward, who has already proven himself in front of goal with two goals in four matches.
Although Chidiebere is yet to find the target, he possesses intimidating traits that can easily scare the opposition.
Yesterday, he spoke about the impending big Harare derby and his desire to be part of it.
“Yes, this is my first Harare derby and I am happy to be part of it. I have played in derbies before and I know what it is like. My strength is in God and I am also a hard worker at training,” he said.
“I promise Caps United fans that I will give everything to try and win this match. We have a very good squad that plays as a unit and I am confident we will get all the three points.”
Although Caps United will be without Chungwa, who is suspended for the match after accumulating three yellow cards, they welcome back skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi, who returns from suspension for a similar disciplinary record.
Defender Stephen Makatuka also returned to training this week after missing the team’s last two matches due to illness.
However, the Green Machine will still be without defender, Justice Jangano, who is still serving a suspension for picking a red card in the victory over army side, Black Rhinos last week.
Caps United go into the match seeking to maintain their recent dominance over Dynamos after they defeated their city rivals 1-0 last season with the reverse fixture ending in a 3-3 stalemate.
But Dynamos team manager, Richard Chihoro yesterday said they were ready to face Caps United.
He said they drew confidence from the fact that they defeated their rivals 1-0 in the semi-final of the Independence Cup earlier this season.
“We are looking forward to the match. Our confidence is high. We have been playing very well and remember, we beat Caps United in the semi-finals of the Independence Cup. So we are more than ready to face them,” Chihoro said.
Both teams clash at a time they are in top form, with Caps United managing 11 points in their last five league games, while Dynamos have collected 15 points from the same number of games.