By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Bulawayo football fans will enjoy a football fiesta in the opening weekend of the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season with the country’s two biggest sides Highlanders and Dynamos both in action in the city.
The league season gets underway on March 17. Bosso get their season underway with a home tie against army side Black Rhinos, while Chicken Inn host Dynamos on the opening day for the second time in two years.
Bulawayo City and Chapungu face off on match day one, while champions FC Platinum start the defence of their title away to ZPC Kariba.
One of the four Bulawayo teams in the league, Bulawayo Chiefs, make their debut away to Yadah in Harare, while fellow new boys Nichrut of Shurugwi and Mutare City clash at Ascot Stadium in Gweru. League debutants Herentals are likely to face a baptism of fire against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium.
Caps United will be at home to backdoor entrants Harare City, with Shabanie Mine locking horns with Triangle United at Mandava Stadium to wrap up the league’s opening nine matches.
Harare City were readmitted to the PSL following the withdrawal of Bulawayo-based How Mine.
With only nine goals scored in the opening week of the 2017 season, five of them from one game where Chicken Inn clobbered Bantu Rover 5-0, fans across the country will be hoping the zeal to get off the blocks and make early intentions could be bigger than the fear of losing.
Bulawayo Chiefs will enjoy the freedom of the city in what will be a potential money spinner for them in their second game of the season when they play host to Caps United, while the other three sides will be out of town.
The league’s biggest match of the season featuring Dynamos and Highlanders will be on match day four in Harare, while the eagerly awaited Zvishavane derby between FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine has been set for match day 15.
It’s a match that brings Zvishavane to a virtual standstill. The fierce Harare derby featuring Caps United and Dynamos is set for match day seven. The Chronicle
Opening four weeks fixtures
Match Day 1
Nichrut FC v Mutare City FC
Chicken Inn FC v Dynamos FC
Ngezi Platinum Stars FC v Herentals FC
Highlanders FC v Black Rhinos FC
ZPC Kariba FC v FC Platinum
Yadah FC v Bulawayo Chiefs FC
Caps United FC v Harare City FC
Bulawayo City FC v Chapungu FC
Shabanie Mine FC v Triangle FC
Match Day 2
Mutare City FC v Chapungu FC
Harare City FC v Bulawayo City FC
Bulawayo Chiefs FC v Caps United FC
FC Platinum v Yadah FC
Black Rhinos FC v ZPC Kariba FC
Herentals FC v Highlanders FC
Dynamos FC v Shabanie Mine FC
Nichrut FC v Chicken Inn FC
Triangle FC v Ngezi Platinum Stars FC
Match Day 3
Chicken Inn FC v Mutare City FC
Shabanie Mine FC v Nichrut FC
Ngezi Platinum Stars FC v Dynamos FC
Highlanders FC v Triangle FC
ZPC Kariba FC v Herentals FC
Yadah FC v Black Rhinos FC
Caps United FC v FC Platinum
Bulawayo City FC v Bulawayo Chiefs FC
Chapungu FC v Harare City FC
Match Day 4
Mutare City FC v Harare City FC
Bulawayo Chiefs FC v Chapungu FC
FC Platinum v Bulawayo City FC
Black Rhinos FC v Caps United FC
Herrentals Fc v Yadah FC
Triangle FC v ZPC Kariba FC
Dynamos FC v Highlanders FC
Chicken Inn FC v Shabanie Mine FC
Nichrut FC v Ngezi Platinum Stars FC