BY Kevin Mapasure
The 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) programme is set for an explosive start with some tasty fixtures lined up in the first few weeks of this much-awaited edition.
With the league set to start at the end of the month, PSL yesterday released the fixture programme and the Highlanders, Caps United clash in week two has already got tongues wagging.
Bosso have a tough schedule where they will take on Black Rhinos (away), Caps United (home), Harare City (away) and Triangle (home) .
During the same period, Caps United will take on Manica Diamonds (home), Highlanders (away), Chapungu (home) and Black Rhinos (away), while Dynamos’ first four fixtures look quite favourable with a home match against league debutants Mushowani Stars before the away trip to Hwange. Their third instalment will be against Chicken Inn in Bulawayo, which comes before the home match against Herentals.
FC Platinum also have a tough line-up with matches against Harare City (away), Triangle (home), Mushowani Stars (away) and Hwange (home).
Ngezi Platinum Stars, under new coach Erol Akbay, start off with an away trip to Triangle, a home match against Mushowani, Hwange (away), before they take on Chicken Inn in a home match.
The team facing the worst possible start is Mushowani, who have Dynamos a home, Ngezi Platinum Stars (away), FC Platinum at home and Manica Diamonds (away) in their first four fixtures.
Dynamos and Highlanders will first meet on week 12, but before that DeMbare would have met champions FC Platinum in week 10.
It will be an interesting period in which DeMbare will clash with Ngezi Platinum (week nine), FC Platinum (week 10), Highlanders (week 12) and then Caps (week 15).
Dynamos were deserted by the majority of their players, but did a lot of shopping outside the country and are likely to parade about four foreigners from Cameroon, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Coach Lloyd Chigowe has insisted that despite their troubles, they will not be one of the weaklings of the league this term.
It is the Highlanders, Caps United clash that dominated talk yesterday with the Green Machine forward Gabriel Nyoni, who joined from Bosso expressing his anticipation for the tasty fixture on social media.
“How many likes for match day two? A quick return to Barbourfields. I wonder how the atmosphere will be like, getting into Barbourfields wearing another colour,” Nyoni tweeted.
Bosso also lost striker Newman Siyanchali to Caps United, which could form another interesting sub-plot to this tie.
Highlanders have also shopped well with the return of Prince Dube and Nqobizitha Masuku, while Bukhosi Sibanda also joined the club together with Cleopas Kapupurika.
Both Caps United and Highlanders have had their fair share of problems with both teams experiencing player strikes in the pre-season preparation period.
They will be hoping to have put every trouble to bed by then.
Chicken Inn, who have assembled a strong side have what looks like a difficult fixture list where they kick off with a home match against ZPC Kariba, before they play Yadah in an away match which precedes their home clash with Dynamos.
They will then confront Akbay’s Ngezi Platinum in their own backyard. This could be another fixture of particular interest with the likes of Donovan Bernard, Clive Agusto and Tichaona Chipunza returning to face their former paymasters.
The first blockbuster fixture to feature Highlanders and Caps on week 2.
Dynamos to play Ngezi Platinum, FC Platinum, Highlanders and Caps in week nine, 10, 12 and 15.
Mushowani Stars with the worst possible facing Dynamos, Ngezi Platinum, FC Platinum and Manica Diamonds in the first four matches. First big Harare derby on week 15.
Highlanders and Dynamos to clash on week 12.