A city divided

HARARE - Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro has insisted pressure will be almost entirely on CAPS United when the two Harare giants clash in a Castle Premiership match at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.

Chihoro is adamant DeMbare has few concerns about the threat posed by Makepekepe and that it is their opponents, given the expectations placed upon them, who actually face the greatest challenge.

The Green Machine have failed to beat Dynamos in a competitive match since 2009, something Chihoro feels will put their opponents under pressure coming into this afternoon’s match.

Today’s match marks the third time that the two Harare giants have met inside three weeks having clashed in the reverse fixture prior to the One Wallet Cup last weekend.

The first league meeting between the two sides ended 1-1, while Rodrick Mutuma sent the Glamour Boys into the semi-finals of the One Wallet with a late strike that broke Makepekepe hearts at the same venue. 

A win today for either side will solidify their credentials for the championship tilt as both teams are joint on 26 points, only one behind log leaders Highlanders.

Chihoro revealed his side is relaxed and are ready to pour more misery on their great rivals.

“We are very much relaxed. I think they are the ones who should be under pressure especially given the fact that they have not won against us for a long time now,” Chihoro told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

“We are always motivated playing against CAPS United. We are looking forward to collect another set of three points. We can’t really say we have a special game plan for them. We need to stick to our normal play.

“We are also eager to maintain our record against CAPS. There is this special feeling that comes with beating them.”  

Chihoro believes the derby has come at a crucial stage of the season and they cannot afford to drop points on today as they seek a record fourth successive league title.

And despite dominating their rivals for the past five years, Chihoro remains a cool head and warned his players not to look much into the history books.

“In derby matches we don’t read too much into form and our previous dominance over our opponents is now water under the bridge. Of course we have been dominating in these derbies lately but we should not relax.”

CAPS United on the other hand seemed to be cursed with defensive injuries. Already without the suspended Stephen Makatuka for picking up three yellow cards, Makepekepe will be hoping skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani recovers on time for today’s clash.

Khumbuyani has been struggling with a knock while David Chipala, who has been partnering Makatuka at the heart of defence, has since been ruled for three weeks.

The Zambian defender has also been ruled out with an injury. But despite the setback, United coach Taurai Mangwiro is putting on a brave face.

“We would want to do well. I feel luck has not been on our side in the previous matches against Dynamos,” Mangwiro said. 

“We would want to believe this time around we will be smiling at the end of the 90 minutes. We are looking forward to that match with a positive mind, no fear whatsoever and let’s just hope it will be our day.

“I believe we have enough ammunition in our ranks that would see us through in that match.

“You would want to go there with the strongest possible team, but I believe in grabbing opportunities and I feel it’s up to the guys that would come in to replace these players to utilise the opportunity.

“It is matches like these that a star can be born. They should make it difficult for the technical when selecting in future matches.

“Conversion has been our biggest let down in previous matches. We have dedicated most of our time working on our finishing and I hope this time around if we create we should be able to convert.

“Our opponents haven’t done much in terms of dominating us in open play. We are only struggling in front of goal and we hope to come good this time around.”

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