By Grace Chingoma
CAPS United say they will not make any special plans to contain the rampaging duo of Dynamos skipper Ocean Mushure and Christian Epoupa Ntouba on Sunday, but they are focusing on dealing with everything the Glamour Boys will throw at them.
Mushure has been superb on the left side of the midfield, occasionally drifting into a central role, while Ntouba has been the leader of their attack with his power and precision.
Denver Mukamba has been showing glimpses of talent, but he is yet to strike the kind of consistency which Mushure and Ntouba have managed.
Speaking after his team’s training session at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, CAPS United assistant coach Mark Mathe said they have their plans firmly in place.
“We are planning for Dynamos, not individuals. We agree and (are) aware of the fact that Ocean is playing well on the left side of the middle of the park, Epoupa has been playing well, also Denver has been weighing in with goals,” said Mathe.
“But we are planning for Dynamos as a unit, as a team tactically because these players play with others to make a difference. We are at home at the National Sports Stadium and we want to try as much as possible to use the home advantage to garner the three points.
“We respect them, they are a big team and they are on a purple patch, they have got so much belief, but come Sunday we will contest for three points.”
The Green Machine welcomes back defenders Hardlife Zvirekwi and Stephen Makatuka, who missed the trip to Gweru through suspension and illness.
At least, the CAPS United defence line-up, which helped the team win against ZPC Kariba, FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum, is back in place together.
The team have also been boosted by the recovery of midfielders Phineas Bamusi and Tafadzwa Rusike.
Bamusi came in the second half against Chapungu, but is likely to get his place in the starting XI after he had full training session yesterday.
“We are very happy with the commitment, the application and the focus on the part of our players. We are also happy Bamusi did full-scale training today (yesterday).
“Stephen is also back, he hasn’t been well for some time. Now he is back and is very energetic and training very well.
Justice Jangano is still out. We have been unfortunate with his suspension, he is serving his last and also Chungwa has accumulated three yellow cards, so we will miss them, but we have players who can equally do the job.
“Like any team, we would have wanted to have a full complement of players when playing a game of this magnitude, but it’s part of the rules of the game and we have to make do with the players at our disposal now,” he said.
Mathe is confident that upfront John Zhuwawu and Abasirim Chidiebere should stand the heat and provide that killer punch, which could destroy their rivals.
The Nigerian forward, who has played cameo roles in the previous games, is likely to be handed his first start by Lloyd Chitembwe.
“The main difference between the two teams is going to come from mental fitness, psychological (stamina), who wants it the most, who has got the positive attitude, who has got the real power, who want the bragging rights of Harare after 90 minutes plus added time, that will make the winner.
“It is a derby, two of the biggest teams in Zimbabwe. For me it’s a game that has nothing to do with current form because on the day in question, it’s a battle, it’s a very tight contest.
“All I ask from our passionate fans is that they should come in their numbers, my plea to them is they should support the team whether we are playing well or not and they should be on our side all the time.”
Saturday: Yadah v Bantu Rovers (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo City v ZPC Kariba (White City, 1pm), How Mine v Chicken Inn (White City, 3pm). Harare City v Tsholotsho (Rufaro, 1pm, SS), Black Rhinos v Triangle (Rufaro, 3pm, SS).
Sunday: CAPS United v Dynamos (NSS, 3pm, SS), Highlanders v Chapungu (White City), Hwange v FC Platinum (Colliery), Shabanie Mine v Ngezi Platinum (Maglas). The Herald