Platinum's title credentials under scrutiny

HARARE - ZPC Kariba coach Sunday Chidzambwa has predicted a tough battle against log leaders FC Platinum when the two teams lock horns in a Castle Lager Premiership tie this afternoon at Nyamhunga Stadium.

Despite a difficult season in which they struggled for consistency, ZPC Kariba have made a steady recovery and currently sit fourth on the log table trailing today’s opponents by nine points.

A win for the Zimbabwe Power Company-owned side will see them emerge as serious title contenders as they will be only six points behind FC Platinum with eight games to go before the season ends.

On the other side, Norman Mapeza’s side have a chance to take a giant stride towards their first top flight with a win today taking them at least six points clear of second-placed CAPS United for at least 24 hours.

“We are just preparing for this game as a normal game and we are looking forward to a good game,” Chidzambwa told the Daily News yesterday.

“It will be really a tough game for both teams. We have been doing well lately and we want to maintain our good form.”

Kauya Katuruturu has picked up three wins on the trot in their last three matches with victories over Highlanders, Chapungu and Tsholotsho which makes them a good test for the Zvishavane-based miners, who only have one win in their last five matches.

Chidzambwa, however ruled his team’s chances of a late title push.

“Our target is to try and get positive result for and every game that we play. We don’t want to put ourselves under pressure,” he said.

“We are not in the title race. We lost the plot when we go for eight matches without a win. If we had won at least one game we could have been talking something different. So count us out of the title race.

The Kariba-based side will be without injured forward Tineyi Chitora and suspended defender Thomas Sweswe, who was sent off in the win over Tsholotsho last weekend.

Despite his side’s poor form in recent weeks, Mapeza is not too worried with their lack of wins as the season enters the crucial stage.

Last weekend, the platinum miners conceded a last minute equaliser at home against defending champions Chicken Inn.

“Nobody is panicking,” Mapeza told the Daily News earlier this week. “We have had a lot of games. Tough games, but then so has everyone else in the Premier League.

“Yes, that Chicken Inn draw was disappointing but looking back, it wasn’t our worst performance. I don’t think there is anything to be concerned about and we are actually looking forward to give it our all in the remaining fixtures.”

Today: Bulawayo City v Mutare City Rovers (Barbourfields), ZPC Kariba v FC Platinum (Nyamhunga), How Mine v Tsholotsho (Luveve), Harare City v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Rufaro)

Tomorrow: Triangle United v CAPS United (Gibbo), Dynamos v Chapungu (Rufaro), Border Strikers v Highlanders (Dulibadzimu)

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