BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
INFORM Harare giants Dynamos are already looking beyond their clash against struggling arch-rivals CAPS United in the penultimate Chibuku Super Cup Group 1 encounter at Baobab in Ngezi this afternoon.
DeMbare are runaway leaders in their group and qualified for the knockout stages of the premier cup competition with three matches to spare.
And ahead of a match against one of their fierce rivals Makepekepe, the Glamour Boys have the luxury to worry more about the knockout stages and the Premier Soccer League resumption.
The Tonderai Ndiraya coached side is yet to lose a football match in eight starts so far while they have only conceded one goal in the Chibuku Cup, ironically against today’s opponents CAPS United.
CAPS United on the other hand are a club in crisis.
They missed the better part of the week as players boycotted training to demand better remuneration.
One win in eight matches including two defeats and five draws reads their record so far.
With a minus one goal difference and boasting of the second worst defensive record, one cannot see them beat their trailblazing adversaries.
It should be an easy Harare derby for Dynamos.
“We are taking these games as preparation for the quarterfinals of the Chibuku Cup, which are coming in the near future. Not just the quarter finals, but also the league games because I am told the league will be starting very soon,” Ndiraya said.
However, Ndiraya expects a slow start from his team considering that the international break may have affected the form.
“I would not say we are overwhelming favourites because you know how it is with derbies, they are very difficult and unpredictable. People talk about our form, but that is the form we had about a week or two ago before the international break.
“We expect some little bit of rust and we expect a slow start from the team. But it’s something we prepared for and we hope that our boys will do well and win the match. We want to garner as much as possible despite the fact that we have already qualified for the quarterfinals,” he said.
And the Baobab Stadium is familiar territory for Ndiraya who built a fortress at the stadium during his stint as the Ngezi Platinum Stars coach.
With a big squad to choose from, Ndiraya would not be worried that about the absence of players such as Frank Makarati and Takunda Mawarire while the match may come too soon for fullback Tino Muringai and Jarisson Selemani, who have just returned to training.
The Harare derby has been known to have very little respect for the form book so Dembare can underestimate CAPS United at their own peril.
While he admits that the team lost a lot of time to prepare for one of the most anticipated matches on the local football front, CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo believes that coaches have little to do ahead of such matches.
“We lost a lot of time we could have used to prepare for a match of this magnitude. But players need very little motivation in matches as big as the Harare derby. There is no better platform for players to show what they are capable of doing than against a team like Dynamos,” Dodo said.
“It’s a derby and it means a lot to the CAPS United family including our fans. These are the kind of matches that we need to win for our fans and a win can boost the morale of the team going forward.”
Dodo’s side need nothing short of a miracle to make the knockout stages and a win for Harare City in the early kickoff against Herentals could seal Makepekepe’s fate.
CAPS United are set to miss the services of key players in Ronald Chitiyo, Simba Nhivi, Tinashe Balakasi, Valentine Musarurwa, Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Webster Tafa and Valentine Ndaba who are injured.