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Derby of joy and pain

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BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS playmaker King Nadolo says the Harare derby against Caps United leaves deep wounds or unforgettable memories compared to any other game in the topflight league.

The two rivals clash in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow, with both teams desperate for the three points, albeit for different reasons.

Nadolo, one of the few players in the Dynamos set-up to have featured in the derby before, reckons tomorrow’s clash is huge for many reasons.

“A lot is going through our minds as players because it’s a derby where we have to play for many things,” Nadolo said. “We have to play for three points, to get back to winning ways and of course the bragging rights.”

Dynamos lie a point off log leaders Chicken Inn, despite their loss of form in the last three matches where they managed to pick just two points from a possible nine.

“We lost our rhythm a bit, so we have to win this match so that we get our confidence back.”

While Dynamos’ form has stuttered, a sense of siege currently grips the Caps camp, and many DeMbare fans believe the Green Machine is up for the taking.

Lloyd Chitembwe’s side go into the match at the back of five straight defeats, and can brook no argument with critics. And Nadolo said the form book goes out of the window when the whistle blows.

“They might be struggling at the moment, but this is a derby and I am sure they will come to the party so there is not much of a difference between us. We are just expecting a tough game like the way we played them before,” Nadolo said.

The last time the two sides met in this fixture was in July of 2019, and it ended in a 1-1 draw. Caps then won the reverse fixture 1-0 four months later.

DeMbare will be without star striker Bill Antonio, who is serving suspension for the red card against Highlanders, but Brendon Mpofu is expected to return to the starting line-up to face his former club for the first time. The left back has fully recovered from an injury that kept him out of the last four matches.

Tinotenda Muringai had a fresh injury setback and pulled out of the training session on Thursday. Tinashe Makanda, who got injured against Herentals last week and Luke Musikiri have also been ruled out.

Chitembwe has remained positive and optimistic despite the struggle in form ahead of the derby.

“Going into this game, there is a lot that I have noticed and liked in this team. They are looking forward to playing Dynamos and their in application during practice, you could see that their energy levels are high,” Chitembwe said.

He is hoping that the wealth of experience in his squad will come to the fore.

“This game needs very cool heads, composure. It needs players to have the right kind of patience. It also requires players to have the right kind of commitment in as far as they apply their tactics, the technical and tactical strategies. Personally, I hope we have plenty of these come Sunday because they will obviously give us an advantage.”

Chitembwe’s men are a single point above the drop zone and a defeat in this one could leave them in relegation trouble.

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