By Nigel Matongorere
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is set to show his ruthless side by dropping a number of under-performing stars for his team’s Castle Lager Premiership match against Highlanders this weekend.
The Green Machine travel to Bulawayo to take on Bosso at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday still smarting from last weekend’s 1-2 home defeat to log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars.
That defeat left United in seventh place on the log table with 16 points from 11 matches and now trail Ngezi by a massive 13 points.
However, a number of Makepekepe senior players did not cover themselves in glory during that defeat to Madamburo and the previous two matches in which they drew 1-1 with Shabanie Mine and lost 0-1 to Chicken Inn.
The biggest casualties are likely to be in defence where Chitembwe is likely to axe centre back Dennis Dauda while captain Stephen Makatuka is set to miss out due to a hamstring injury picked up in the Ngezi match.
Full back Praise Tonha, who also started last weekend, looks set to be another casualty as Chitembwe looks to shake up his defence which has failed to keep a clean sheet in the last four matches.
Goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba is set to return between the sticks for Cris Mverechena after missing the last two matches while serving suspension for the red card he received in the encounter against the Gamecocks.
After being frozen out in the first 11 matches of the season, centre back Goodwin Goriyati is likely to partner Justice Jangano at the heart of the defence against Bosso on Sunday.
Carlton Munzabwa will be given the nod at left back while Valentine Musarurwa starts at right back. Chitembwe is also likely to drop midfielder Denver Mukamba following a recent dip in form. Mukamba last shone when he scored a beautiful goal in the 1-0 win over Dynamos in the Harare derby last month.
Since then, the on-loan midfielder has been off colour which has prompted Chitembwe to look for other options for Sunday’s match.
“It’s natural that after a loss, you can’t be seen smiling or be happy,” Chitembwe said after Makepekepe’s training session yesterday.
“Even the players, everyone, the supporters were disappointed so it’s not only my disappointment that is more important but at the end of the day it’s about us making sure we respond in a certain way that is necessary to be positive going into the game after.
“Even the players, it is also important for them to respond in a way that will be good going into the game against highlanders. So we expect a reaction from everyone.”
The Makepekepe coach admitted that his team is now desperate to start collecting maximum points and hopes they rediscover their winning formula against Bosso on Sunday.
“All games are big and very, very important; we know what we are supposed to do and we carry a huge responsibility and for us, the responsibility to perform is key,” Chitembwe said.
“When we talk of performance, we are talking of winning games and this is our responsibility and we will try our best towards achieving that.” Daily News
Saturday: Nichrut v Bulawayo Chiefs (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Bulawayo City (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Yadah (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Highlanders v CAPS United (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Chapungu (Maglas), Dynamos v FC Platinum (Rufaro), Triangle United v Black Rhinos (Gibbo), Mutare City Rovers v Herentals (Vengere)