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Diamonds Cup derby

The other first-round matches today see BancABC champions Motor Action taking on Monomotapa at Mutare’s Sakubva with Blue Ribbon taking on Shabanie at Ascot in Gweru.

Kariba residents will not miss out as Nyamhunga play hosts to Gunners and Masvingo. The match between Monomotapa and Motor Action can go either way.

However, it is the Harare derby pitting Dynamos and CAPS United that has been the pick of the crop and has been described as a final before the final.
Not only have CAPS United been losing in league matches, they have also fallen in Cup games as well, as was the case in the BancABC final last year and Bob87 clash.

The match comes at no better time for both teams who have just picked up form. CAPS United captain Marvel Samaneka has rediscovered his form and will be ably supported by the “elders” of the derby, David Sengu and Leonard Tsipa, who have been there since the days of Charles Mhlauri.

The club’s top goal scorers with seven goals each, Pride Tafirenyika, Steven Alimenda, Evans Gwekwerere and David Rediyoni are also available for selection.

However, combative midfielder Ashley Rambanepasi is out of the tie and will undergo a knee operation this Friday. Ironically, Lloyd Chitembwe is back at the club having been the last coach to guide CAPS United to a victory against Dynamos. A number of coaches ranging from Moses Chunga to Takaendesa Jongwe have tried in vain to beat Dynamos since that Easter 2009 April afternoon.

However, the CAPS United coach believes that history counts for nothing in football. “If we are going to base on history, then there is no need for us to compete in the match because Dynamos have won more matches than us.

“It all depends on which team wants it  (victory) more on a particular day and it is my hope that on Sunday, it will be us,” he said. However, long-serving Dynamos son Murape Murape has already fired warning shots at the CAPS United camp.

“Derbies can go either way, but we are looking forward to winning the game,” said Murape. “This is a cup game, which does not have a second leg so we have to win. It is going to be very difficult to beat them, but we have to do it for our fans.”

A major boost for Dynamos is the return to fitness of striker Cuthbert Malajila, who throughout the week had been a subject of speculation. Rodrick Mutuma, who scored a brace when Dynamos prevailed over CAPS United in a league match is also available, and so is young Denver Mukamba.

Dynamos v CAPS United (National Sports Stadium), Motor Action v Monomotapa (Sakubva), Gunners v Masvingo (Nyamhunga Kariba), Blue Ribbon v Shabanie (Ascot)

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