CAPS' resurgence under spotlight

HARARE - Tonight represents defending champions CAPS United with an opportunity to ascertain if their recent resurgence is anything to go by. 

Makepekepe were weighed down by their participation in the African Champions League which saw them lag behind the rest of the teams in the Castle Lager Premiership.

At some point, United were in the relegation zone as fatigue took its toll on the squad but crucially, the Harare giants still had a handful of games in hand.

Lloyd Chitembwe’s side has, however, been able to slowly get back into their groove with a number of vital wins in the last 11 matches.

During that period, Makepekepe only lost once to Dynamos while drawing with Tsholotsho, Chapungu and Bulawayo City.

CAPS managed to beat ZPC Kariba, FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Black Rhinos, Bantu Rovers, Dynamos and Hwange.

That has seen the Green Machine climb up the ladder to sixth place on the log and now trail leaders Dynamos by 14 points.

If Makepekepe win their game in hand against Highlanders then that lead will be cut back to 11 points.

This evening, the Green Machine has a chance to put more pressure on the leading pack when they host second-placed Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium.

Chicken Inn have been rattled in recent weeks after they were defeated at home by Yadah FC two weeks ago.

The Gamecocks totally lost the plot last weekend when they caused the abandonment of  the Chibuku Super Cup first  round tie against Yadah with the score levelled at 0-0 in the 86th minute.

Chicken Inn were incensed after Yadah had been awarded a penalty and coach Rahman Gumbo ordered his players to leave the pitch.

CAPS on the other hand, progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition after they beat Ngezi Platinum 1-0 away at Baobab Stadium.

Speaking after that victory over Ngezi Platinum, Makepekepe assistant coach Mark Mathe said they have been able to resurrect their season due to their strong mental strength.

“What has been key in our recent matches is mental strength from the players as well as self-belief,” Mathe said.

“Our main objective remains simple and is to win the next game we play.

“So we are now focusing on our league game against Chicken Inn at home.

“To us it’s an important match that we should pick up maximum points because they beat us in the reverse fixture.

“We are playing at home this time around and we want to maximise on home advantage. But of course it’s not going to be an easy match and we will have to work hard if we are to beat them.”

Today: Bulawayo City v Tsholotsho (Barbourfields), ZPC Kariba v Ngezi Platinum (Nyamhunga), Yadah FC v FC Platinum (Rufaro), How Mine v Triangle (Luveve), CAPS United v Chicken Inn (NSS, 7pm), Hwange v Black Rhinos (Colliery)

Thursday: Shabanie Mine v Dynamos (Maglas), Harare City v Chapungu (Rufaro), Highlanders v Bantu Rovers (Barbourfields)

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