By Eddie Chikamhi
By CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is demanding the best from his players as the Green Machine host Yadah Stars tomorrow at the National Sports Stadium looking to turnaround their Premiership campaign for good following a recent dry spell.
Fellow giants Dynamos will also be out in search of maximum points at home to Premiership newboys Herentals hoping to ease the pressure on interim coach Biggie Zuze.
CAPS United brought some cheer into their camp during midweek when they thumped ZPC Kariba 3-0 at the giant stadium to stop a run of four matches without a win.
Despite the midweek win, Chitembwe has indicated no player will be guaranteed a starting place as he looks to stabilise his team.
But after chopping and changing, the former midfielder has maintained the same players in the last two games which ended in a goalless draw at Highlanders and the home win against ZPC Kariba.
“We didn’t have the kind of solidity that we wanted in the previous games. We didn’t have the control of the defence and after those changes I’m sure these guys have brought a completely different dimension from the guys that were initially playing.
“From that angle I am very happy and that in itself will stimulate performance or push the other guys,” said Chitembwe.
Makepekepe are currently sixth on the log standings with 20 points from 13 starts.
Chitembwe said the victory over ZPC Kariba was the tonic they needed and they now look to build on the result.
“It’s good for us. It’s good for confidence, it’s good for the spirit within the group and this is what we are supposed to do – play and win games,” said Chitembwe.
However, midfielder Joel Ngodzo, who could not last the distance during the midweek game because of a nagging ankle injury, is a huge doubt for tomorrow.
Yadah were yesterday still sweating over the availability of their star midfielder Leeroy Mavunga and Regis Dongo who suffered knocks last week.
The duo missed the 1-0 midweek victory over Mutare City at the National Stadium but the technical team was still confident they would pass a fitness test.
Yadah coach Thomas Ruzive yesterday said his side is buoyed by the win over Mutare which halted a dry spell of three matches.
“The three points that we got during the midweek were very motivational. At least winning games will get you back in the direction that you would want to go.
“But the battle is still on. We are mindful of CAPS United, we know what they can do. They are one of the giants of domestic football. Look at what they did to ZPC Kariba in their last match.
“We know they are under some kind of pressure to collect points so it’s not going to be an easy match. We will have to fight hard to get the points,” said Ruzive.
Across the town at Rufaro, Dynamos would need to pacify the storm as pressure has been mounting on the team of late to start winning games consistently.
DeMbare are coming from a 1-1 stalemate with Black Rhinos.
The draw was preceded by a 2-0 defeat to champions FC Platinum and this inconsistency has not gone down well the club’s fans.
Zuze challenged his team to pull up their socks as they look to rise from 11th place on the log standings.
DeMbare have been below par this season with a measly 13 points from as many games and the pressure, especially at home, has been difficult to handle.
“Maybe it is that some of the players that we have are youngsters. When things turn out like this they are bound to have a bit of pressure.
‘’This is what we want to stabilise first. They have to play with more confidence like what we did in the second half against Rhinos.
“But I have very good youngsters who want to play and if you see them training you will enjoy their commitment. I think the only thing that has been lacking is the result, especially the last three games that we played. We have to continue pushing them on and see what we end up with,” said Zuze.
DeMbare are one point behind Herentals on the log standings.
The students are coming from a 1-0 win over Triangle during the midweek.
Ngezi Platinum Stars v Harare City (Baobab).
Mutare City Rovers v Triangle United (Vengere), Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Nichrut v Black Rhinos (Ascot), Shabanie Mine v Bulawayo Chiefs (Maglas), Highlanders v Chapungu (Barbourfields), ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo City (Nyamhunga), Yadah v CAPS United (NSS), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve). The Herald