THE colour is blue and a touch of white and it’s written Dynamos all over it — smile Glamour Boys, you are the champions. At the beginning of the second half of the season, I rightly predicted that four teams were going to fight it out for the championship come the end of the marathon. Now, it’s seven games to go and we are in the final stretch and so many predictions are coming up, including one by my colleague Spencer Manguwa, who said FC Platinum were going to be champions, which sent social media ablaze.
But, for me, this is a DeMbare race.
For starters, let’s do it simple and just assume everyone will continue to perform as they did in the last 27 games.
That, will give it to Dynamos by virtue of being on top of the log.
The Glamour Boys will end up with 71 points, Ngezi Platinum and FC Platinum both on 67 points and Chicken Inn on 64 points.
Another way is to look at the top four teams’ remaining games and make the assumption that they will get the same results as they did in the first half.
This gives Dynamos a resounding victory as they got 19 points out of 21, Chicken Inn second with 14 points out of 21, FC Platinum third with 10 points out of 21 and Ngezi Platinum fourth with nine points out of 21.
This gives Dynamos a highly unlikely end of season total points of 75, Chicken Inn 65, FC Platinum 63 and Ngezi Platinum 62.
However, the chances for such a scenario happening are close to nothing, though it cannot be ruled out.
It’s a possibility.
Another way is to look at last season’s results for the same remaining games for each club and assume they will come out the same this season.
Omitting games with teams that gained promotion last season, Bantu Rovers and Shabanie, consideration is done on six games each.
Again, despite their poor run last season, Dynamos come tops with 11 points out of 18, Chicken Inn 10, Ngezi Platinum nine and FC Platinum eight.
A more plausible way is to look at results from the past seasons and calculate respective possibilities for each game for every club’s remaining fixtures.
Unfortunately, extracting information for such a task, though supposed to be simple, has proved to be a big mission. So, I decided to omit that in this piece.
We still have to look at current form and take it into account for the predictions.
My prediction is that the team that will garner at least 15 points from the remaining games will bag it and, again, the team that’s more likely to do that, is Dynamos.
Of all the teams in the top four, Dynamos and Chicken Inn have gone for a seven-game winning streak. Ngezi Platinum and FC Platinum have managed five games.
This gives Dynamos and Chicken Inn an upper hand in terms of starting and sustaining winning games in a row.
The fact that it’s the tail-end and every game a potential banana skin, a team need coaches and players with character.
Potentially easy games will turn difficult and almost all teams will have one or more reason to fight for points — if not for championship, then to avoid relegation.
All the four teams boast of young coaches who have the energy to continue for at least another 15 years and they all still have dreams of plying their trade outside the country one day.
One can argue that Dynamos’ Lloyd Mutasa falls short in terms of championship-winning experience when compared to Chicken Inn’s Rahman Gumbo and FC Platinum’s Norman Mapeza.
But it is his club’s big name that seems to be carrying the day for him in some instances.
Another plus has been the big characters that Dynamos have — Ocean Mushure, Lincoln Zvasiya and Obey Mwerahari, in Peace Makaha and Tichaona Chipunza, they have young players with big hearts and in Christian Epoupa Ntouba, they have found a reliable gunslinger.
The same cannot be said for the other three teams except for Chicken Inn, who have Clement Matawu and Obadiah Tarumbwa, who are big characters themselves but fall short on providing leadership and direction.
I agree with Maguwa that Dynamos’ weekend fixture at ZPC Kariba is their most crucial.
A win at Nyamhunga and the race will not go to the wire and they will win it with it, at least, with a game to spare.
The platinum clubs have history also working against them — no team outside Harare or Bulawayo has won the championship since Independence.
And, it’s been 50 years since this was last done and there are a reason for that.
DeMbare can only trip themselves otherwise the title is theirs.
Bothwell Mahlengwe is banker and former Premiership footballer and can be contacted for feedback on the email — firstname.lastname@example.org