UNTIL last year, football giants Dynamos had bullied archrivals CAPS United for close to a decade, particularly in the league.
The pendulum has swung the other way now.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Dynamos has failed to win a single match in the last four league meetings between the two teams and Makepekepe have won twice in the three encounters, with the other one ending in a stalemate.
Today, the famous Harare derby descends upon the National Sports Stadium and the blue half of the city has nothing else in mind but to break the recent dominance of the green half in the Uhuru Cup semifinal.
The two teams have met already this year in another Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield semi-final, with the Lloyd Chitembwe-coached CAPS United coming out 3-1 victors.
Lloyd Mutasa, the Glamour Boys coach, says his side is itching to show that they are hungrier than their opponents this time around.
“When you look at the recent statistics, CAPS have got an advantage over us, but this is a derby and we should show that we are hungrier than them. The last time we played them they beat us, so we are really itching to get a positive result today,” Mutasa said.
DeMbare have been on a decline since they won four consecutive league titles between 2011 and 2014 and have so far failed to win a single competitive match in three attempts this year.
Mutasa is hoping that a win over Makepekepe will transform the fortunes of the club to give them a run of good results.
“Our intention as Dynamos is to play and win every game that we play, but I am sure the better team on the day will come out tops. A win will surely boost our confidence because we have not won a competitive match this season and winning that one will put us in the groove and I am sure we will be ready to roll,” he said.
Mutasa has a 10-match league ultimatum hovering above his head, but the Uhuru Cup consolation may coerce the board to give him more time in case he fails to meet the target.
The former Dynamos midfield maestro is currently building a new team after losing a number of top players last season.
In today’s match, Dynamos are likely to unleash their Cameroonian striker Christian Ntouba, who sat out the team’s first two league games, but are set to miss the services of defender Obey Mwerahari, who lost his father on Friday.
Dynamos has been playing an exciting brand of football so far this season, but were found wanting in front of goal, especially in the 1-0 home loss to FC Platinum in the league opener.
CAPS United, who have already bagged the ZNA Charities Shield, went about their business quietly this week as they bid for their second cup of the season.
Chitembwe’s men have been on a high, having so far this year qualified for the lucrative Confederation of African Football champions’ league group stage after dispatching Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe.
Makepekepe have one win and one draw in their title defence so far and Chitembwe is set to make wholesale changes to his squad for the Dynamos match.
Edmore Sibanda missed last week’s home win over Harare City and is not yet fully fit for the Uhuru Cup match, while captain Moses Muchenje, substituted at half time in the last match, did not attend training this week.
Speedy wingback Zvikomborero Bizeki and veteran striker Leonard Tsipa have been left out of the Harare derby squad.