DeMbare get tough PSL opening ties

HARARE - Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa is not moved after being presented with the toughest possible way to start their 2018 Castle Lager Premiership campaign in which they will face all of their rivals inside the first seven weeks of the season.

According to a draft fixture released by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) yesterday, the Glamour Boys will get the ball rolling with a tough away assignment against former champions Chicken Inn.

While DeMbare collected four points against the Gamecocks last season after forcing a draw away in Bulawayo before registering a narrow 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture, the Glamour Boys are quite aware of the danger posed by Chicken Inn.

After that, DeMbare, who are desperate to make an impression this term, after coming close last season, will then host Shabanie Mine during Week Two. But it will be their third week of the season in which they will travel to Baobab for another mouth-watering tie with Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Fixtures between Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum are slowly becoming an important event on the PSL calendar and have generated a lot of interest in the previous years as the platinum miners is home to several former DeMbare players. 

Last season the two teams cancelled each other with DeMbare collecting maximum points at home while Ngezi got their revenge at their own backyard in a game which was marred by violence after both sets of fans clashed.

The rivalry appears to continue this year after Ngezi Platinum Stars once again invaded then Glamour Boys by signing one of their best players from last season in midfielder Tichaona Chipunza.

Dynamos will then host bitter rivals Highlanders during Week Four with the derby match against CAPS United coming in Week Seven. However, in analysing his team’s opening fixtures, Mutasa said they are relishing the challenge.

“I don’t think it makes any difference playing our rivals now or in the later stages of the season. One way or the other we still need to play them,” Mutasa said.

“To us we are looking forward to the challenge. We just need to make sure we work hard knowing what we want to achieve this season. I think we have made it clear that this season we want to do better than what we did last season and that is to win the championship because we finished second.”

Defending champions FC Platinum will open their title defence with an away fixture to ZPC Kariba. Platinum’s first real test will come during Week Three when they travel to Harare for a date against CAPS United.

On their part, CAPS United will begin their campaign with a date against Harare City who were re-admitted into Premiership after How Mine pulled out. The Green Machine have made a huge statement of intent by signing several seasoned players, who include Denver Mukamba.

Highlanders, who are undergoing a massive rebuilding exercise under Madinda Ndlovu, host Black Rhinos in their opening match of the season.

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