BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
CAPS United have received a major boost ahead of the block buster showdown against old rivals Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday following the return of defender Valentine Musarurwa from suspension.
The versatile defender, who can play either side of the defence was sent-off in the 6-2 defeat to Manica Diamonds in Mutare as frustration took its toll on the Harare football giants on a chastening afternoon.
The defeat was their heaviest in years. The Green Machine though have since gotten over the embarrassing defeat and have gone on to win two consecutive matches, a 6-0 mauling of WhaWha before edging Bulawayo City 1-0 on Saturday.
The clash with fallen Bulawayo giants Bosso should be a big test for both sides, Musarurwa has returned at the right time.
“The return of Vale is a big boost for us. Every coach would want to have all his players available, especially for games like this. His return gives the coach many options and we are all excited,” team manager Shakespear Chinogwenya said.
In the past 10 meetings between the two, Caps United have been dominant winning four and losing two, while drawing four.
The last win was on August 18 2019, in a thrilling encounter at the National Sports Stadium which signalled the end of coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s tenure as he immediately quit to join Harare City.
Chitembwe has returned to the Green Machine as the league marathon gets into top gear.
Highlanders might have struggled against Caps United recently but they are emboldened by their resilience and brave display in 2004 when they edged Caps United 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the National Sports Stadium with the then eccentric goalkeeper Tapiwa Kapini scoring a stunning long-range goal.
The match could not have come at a better time as both teams have been playing with real zeal and vigour after having poor starts to the campaign. Caps United had not won in five outings until their comprehensive victory over WhaWha.
On the other hand, Highlanders had just managed a single victory in six matches. They had only managed to beat WhaWha 2-0, drawn twice and lost three times.
With Caps United now in eighth place on the log with 10 points in seven matches, six behind leaders Manica Diamonds and Chicken Inn, while Highlanders are in 11th place with eight points from the same number of games, there is likely to be some interesting sub-plots on Sunday.
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