A City divided

BY HENRY MHARA

ALL eyes on the local football scene will be at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow afternoon when Dynamos host Caps United in the big Harare derby, a fixture that for one reason or another rarely fails to disappoint.

United will be looking to take a huge step towards the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title with a win here over their much-loathed rival, while for Dynamos, it’s about the bragging rights.

And in all honest, it’s this presumed right to brag and boast associated with this fixture, just like any other derby, that makes this a fascinating contest, and one to look forward to.

Caps United have won just once in their last five matches, but are still just two points off the team at the top of the table, FC Platinum, while the huffing and puffing Dynamos are down tenth.

On paper, it is the team that is ranked higher that normally gets the favourites tag and thus many will expect Lloyd Chitembwe’s men to win this one.

But as the old saying goes, football is not played on paper, and form throws itself out of the window on derby day.

Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya (pictured) is certainly hoping that this will be the case tomorrow.

“Every time these two teams meet, form doesn’t count at all, and that is what we are expecting,” Ndiraya said.

“Of course, they (Caps) have not been doing well, but last week’s result give them a huge boost getting into this match. But even if they were losing, when
they play Dynamos, it’s a different game altogether and that is what we are expecting and what we have planned for.

“We expect a very tough fight, and remember, they are two points away from the top and that is really giving them confidence. But this is a derby; they must
also expect us to compete despite our problems and form.”

Whenever these two teams meet, there are a lot of fireworks, with players trying to give it their all. Asked if that would be the same tomorrow, Chitembwe responded: “I don’t expect anything less than that. This is one special fixture on the local calendar. It has always been like that. Anything less than effort, intelligence and proper tactical application will be detrimental to any of the two teams. It has been the nature of the Dynamos-Caps matches, with the players always trying to give the best for their respective sides and we obviously are endeavouring to try and give a performance worth of winning.”

Both coaches paid the utmost compliments to the way their players have prepared ahead of the blockbuster clash.

“I saw a different attitude this week; different attitude from the one I saw last week. Perhaps it’s because we are playing a derby and normally, they say when you play in a derby, you don’t need to motivate the players because they know what is on stake. I’m just hoping that they will carry the same attitude into the game,” Ndiraya said.

“The fight is there. They are pushing one another, something which we haven’t seen in the past. Actually, it has been the other way round. The boys know what they are supposed to be doing. This is a big match, one of the biggest on the local football calendar and if we can get such an attitude, positive for that matter, that really makes my job easy.”

Said Chitembwe: “We are happy with the way we are preparing for the game. I’m very pleased with the attitude; I have seen a lot of positives from the team this week. We are good to go. We are ready.”

Both camps will miss their captains for the match due to injuries, with Dynamos being without Edward Sadomba, who has a head injury, while Valentine Musarurwa is struggling with a knee for Caps.

DeMbare will also miss Tawanda Macheke and Robert Sackey through injuries.

But their respective coaches are not worried. Chitembwe believes Carlos Rusere is an able replacement for the skipper. For Ndiraya, an injury to Sadomba could have given him sleepless nights a few weeks ago. Not anymore.

The arrival of new strikers Simba Nhivi and Evans Katema has given him more good options upfront. Ndiraya is also expected to field returnees Godknows Murwira and Archford Gutu in this match.

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