After going through a tough period in which they failed to win their last four matches, three of which were against teams in the top four of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, Caps United face a run of favourable fixtures, where they will be hoping to reignite the faltering season.
BY GARISH PHIRI
In their next five matches, Caps face five teams that are in the bottom half of the league table, of which three occupy relegation places.
The teams include today’s opponents ZPC Kariba, Yadah, Mutare City Rovers, Bulawayo City and Chapungu are some of the league’s strugglers, who have a combined defeats tally of 23 matches.
The Green Machine faced some of the best teams in the top-flight so far in their last four matches, where they lost to Chicken Inn and Ngezi Platinum Stars, while managing draws in away matches against Shabanie Mine and Highlanders. Shabanie have been struggling this season, but Caps’ barren spell at Maglas Stadium continued when they were held to a 1-1 draw.
Coach Lloyd Chitembwe and his technical team, that includes technical director Nelson Matongorere, will be looking at the next set of five matches as an opportunity for Caps to start climbing up the log and give the leaders Ngezi and FC Platinum something to think about.
They kick-off with a match against ZPC Kariba at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon, a fixture they will be looking to unleash their best attack to earn maximum points.
ZPC Kariba are, however, no pushovers as they have not tasted defeat in the last five matches, having beaten Highlanders and held log leaders Ngezi to a draw.
At the weekend, Yadah will host Caps United at the National Sports Stadium before bottom-placed club Mutare City become the Green Machine’s guests at the same venue.
Having come out of Barbourfields Stadium unscathed, Caps will be looking to shuffle things and give their team an attacking impetus probably with the return of Denver Mukamba who did not feature last week.
Matongorere hinted that they might make changes to the team for today’s match.
“When you play Highlanders it is not the same as playing against ZPC Kariba. ZPC Kariba has its own strengths and weaknesses, so we may come with a different team or we might use the same group that featured in the last game. We played on Sunday and the game was played at a high tempo, it was a high intensity contest, so we have given the guys some time to recover, but we have had some light training,” he said.
Matongorere added that the team would be recharged by the time their take on ZPC Kariba this afternoon and they are aiming at collecting their first set of maximum points in the month of May.
“We have prepared well, the guys are in good shape since they got enough time to rest. I know they are ready for the ZPC Kariba game and we hope to collect maximum points” he said.
Caps have won just four matches this season and have not been able to make good use of their home advantage as they did in the last couple of years. They have already lost two matches at home and they will be looking to snap that run in today’s match.
Having sorted their defensive problems last week, where Godwin Goriyati and Carlton Mudzambwa replaced Dennis Dauda and the injured Stephen Makatuka at centre back, they will seek an improvement in their conversion rate as they have only managed four goals at the National Sports Stadium so far this season.