BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
With the collective football eyes already fixated on the big Harare derby on Sunday pitting bitter rivals Caps United and Dynamos, the former badly need a win today when they take on Herentals in another Group One tie of the Chibuku Super Cup at the National Sports Stadium.
Caps United have made a sluggish start to the Chibuku Super Cup tournament after managing just two points from drawn matches against Yadah (2-2) and Harare City (1-1) and are desperate to secure their first outright win in the tournament against Herentals ahead of the clash against old foes Dynamos.
Failure to win against Herentals will plunge Caps United’s confidence rock bottom going into the encounter against a team they never want to lose against.
Today’s match is all about three points, but Sunday’s blockbuster carries more than just three points.
While coach Darlington Dodo can be forgiven for the unconvincing show in the last two matches, considering he is harmonising new talent after bringing on board a clutch of top players in the domestic league during the transfer window, failure to collect maximum points today will certainly trigger a crisis of confidence in their dressing room.
Their situation is made the more difficult by the fact that Herentals enjoy a better head-to-head record between the two after winning 3-1 in the league encounter in 2019 before they shared the spoils in the reverse fixture following a 1-1 draw at the National Sports Stadium. In the previous season, Caps United prevailed 2-0 before settling for a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.
That Caps will go into the match without key players Valentine Musarurwa, Phineas Bhamusi, Leeroy Mavhunga and Ian Nyoni, who are on the treatment table, only compounds their situation.
Musarurwa and Bhamusi sustained injuries in the first game, while Mavhunga and Nyoni are yet to play a part in the competition because of injuries.
However, the Green Machine will bank on Ishmael Wadi — scorer of a brace in the first match against Yadah and was on target again at the weekend in the draw against Harare City.
The former Harare City forward has been brilliant since his debut for Caps United. The 28-year-old is expected to be the torch bearer of the team’s attack again this afternoon. He will be supported by experienced Ronald Chitiyo, Alan Tavarwisa and Tatenda Tumba in attack.
Herentals, who drew 0-0 against ZPC Kariba on Sunday will draw inspiration from their previous performances against their more illustrious opponents. Former Chibuku Super Cup winners, Harare City will also be targeting a win against Yadah following the weekend draw against Caps United.
Tomorrow, FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum will be hoping to maintain their perfect start to the competition when they face off at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane in perhaps the biggest encounter of the day. Both teams are unbeaten thus far and sparks are certain to fly.
Dynamos take on ZPC Kariba the same day seeking another set of three points. Triangle, still searching for a win in this competition, face off WhaWha and have a good chance of bagging maximum points.
Full fixtures : Wednesday: Harare City vs Yadah (Grp 1, NSS at 11 am)
Herentals vs CAPS United (Grp 1, NSS at 3 pm)
Thursday: WhaWha vs Triangle (Grp 4, Mandava at 11 am), Dynamos vs ZPC Kariba (Grp 1, NSS at 1 pm)
FC Platinum vs Ngezi Platinum Stars (Grp 4, Mandava at 3 pm)
Matchday 4 Fixtures
Saturday: Harare City vs Herentals (Grp 1, NSS at 11am), Manica Diamonds vs Black Rhinos (Grp 3, Sakubva at 1pm), Bulawayo Chiefs vs Chicken Inn (Grp 2, Barbourfields at 3pm)
Sunday: Yadah vs ZPC Kariba (Grp 1, NSS at 11pm)
Cranborne Bullets vs Tenax (Grp 3, Sakubva at 1pm)
Highlanders vs Bulawayo City (Grp 2, Barbourfields at 1 pm), Caps United vs Dynamos (Grp 1, NSS at 3pm)
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