'It's squeaky bum time'

HARARE - “It's squeaky bum time and we've got the experience now to cope."

This is a phrase made famous by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson during the title run-in with Arsenal during the 2002-03 English Premier League.

True to Ferguson’s words, Arsenal went on to drop crucial points when they drew 2-2 Bolton Wanderers after having led 2-0 at one stage.

The following weekend, the Gunners could not even collect a single point after going down 2-3 at home to Leeds United.

In the end, Manchester United went on to win their 15th Premiership title s they finished five points ahead of Arsene Wenger’s side.

Ferguson’s words can now resonate to the situation in the Zimbabwe Castle Premiership title race where Dynamos, ZPC Kariba and CAPS United are now involved in a three-horse race.

With five games to go before the season ends, DeMbare lead the log standings with 49 points followed by league debutants ZPC, who are two points off the pace.

Makepekepe kept within touching distance of the leading pack when they defeated Highlanders 4-0 on Sunday to move to 45 points.

DeMbare coach Calisto Pasuwa can as well be quoting Ferguson in reference to his title rivals as the title race enters this crucial run-in.

The Glamour Boys, who are eyeing a record fourth title on the trot, on paper what, appears to be the easiest remaining matches.

DeMbare are left with three home matches against Chapungu, How Mine and Bantu Rovers while they still have to play ZPC Kariba and Harare City away from home.

Basically hose two away matches will be staged in Harare since ZPC are playing their home matches in the capital at Gwanzura Stadium.

It is difficult to see DeMbare dropping points in those remaining matches as the Harare giants normally grind out results at this stage of the season.

However, football can be difficult to predict. Only two weeks ago, DeMbare were defeated on penalties by struggling Triangle in the One Wallet Cup final on penalties.

Although Dynamos’ forthcoming fixtures look all winnable, it will be detrimental for the Harare giants to take their opponents lightly.

Pasuwa’s men, however, have the experience to handle the pressure as they were in similar situations in the last three seasons they have won the league on the last day of the season.

For ZPC Kariba, it has been a fairytale debut season in the top flight and whatever happens at the end of the season, Saul Chaminuka’s team have won the hearts of many neutrals.

At the start of the season, ZPC were one of the teams many bookmakers earmarked for relegation as they had endured a torrid pre-season.

Chaminuka’s men have, however, defied all odds by refusing to be cowered as the season has gone by.

ZPC though have a difficult title run-in as they still have to play some tough games starting with their trip to Zvishavane to face the rejuvenated FC Platinum this weekend.

Since Norman Mapeza took over the platinum miners they have gradually grown into formidable side and ZCP’s title credentials will be heavily tested in this clash.

After that the Zimbabwe Power Company-owned side return to Harare to face Buffaloes it gets really interesting.

They will then face Harare City, Dynamos and CAPS United in their remaining three matches.

As for CAPS United, they will depend on Dynamos and ZPC to slip up along the way for them to have a real chance.

Makepekepe still have to play Triangle, FC Platinum, Buffaloes, Harare City and that final encounter against ZPC which might turn out to be the title decider.

If the Makepekepe fail to win the league at the end of the season, Taurai Mangwiro’s men will look back at those games against Chapungu and Bantu Rovers when they dropped points mainly due to their off-field troubles.

Comments (2)

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Art finish. One will definitely be crowned. Not ZPC and not CAPS. The gods favour De-mbare. Hate it, its written on the Wall

liberty shungu - 15 October 2014

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