FOLLOWING a thumping 3-0 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League defeat to Chicken Inn that sank them deeper in the murky relegation waters, Air Force of Zimbabwe side Chapungu will be out to redeem themselves and ease the worries when they host fellow strugglers Shabanie Mine in a six-pointer clash at Ascot Stadium tomorrow.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Currently perched on the relegation cut-off spot, Chapungu will give themselves a chance to survive with a victory here, against a side that last won a match in May.
On paper, this is an easy fixture for the Rodwell Dlakama-coached side, but the well-travelled mentor knows there are no easy fixtures, especially at this stage of the season, when stakes are high at both ends of the log standings.
“We are not losing hope and we are not under-estimating our opponents based on how they have been performing lately,” he said.
“We are approaching this game with caution and with a very strong desire to win. We have to make sure we collect maximum points, which is our main focus at the moment.”
Separated by just a point with four teams above them, victory for Chapungu will almost certainly see them moving out of the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, high-fliers Nichrut will be looking to continue with their good form when they travel to Barbourfields for a match against Bulawayo Chiefs, in another relegation six-pointer tomorrow.
The two teams are both on 31 points, one above the relegation zone, and a team that collects all the three points here will make a huge leap towards safety.
It is Nichrut though that will start as favourites, having enjoyed unbelievable form of late and are tied at the top-of-form rankings table in the last five matches.
They have picked 10 points, a record that is only matched by log leaders FC Platinum and Triangle.
The Shurugwi-based team also beat Black Rhinos 2-1 in the Chibuku Super Cup first round match.
They will be without their coach John Nyikadzino, who is recuperating following a car accident this week. Assistant coach William Mhazo, who will hold fort, is aware of the task at hand.
“Every match now will be very decisive and we are playing for our coach. We are not going to be looking at how others will be performing, because the only way to survive relegation is by collecting maximum points until the season ends,” he said.