Eddie Chikamhi and Mukudzei Chingwere
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is expecting a big response from his team when they face champions FC Platinum in a top-of-the-table Castle Lager Premiership clash at Mandava this afternoon.
Chitembwe last week criticised his players for lacking the fighting spirit of a team chasing the championship following a demoralising 1-2 home loss to Ngezi Platinum Stars.
The Green Machine have won one game in their last seven outings.
“Of course, we are happy we did a bit of some very good work during the course of the week.
‘’I thought the response by the boys, over what happened last week, was very good going by what I saw in training.
“It was very encouraging and I think there is no better opportunity to try and correct what happened last week than this game.
“I think it has presented us with an opportunity to try and correct everything,” said Chitembwe.
Apart from Phineas Bamusi, who is on national team duty, Chitembwe is expecting to have all his arsenal at his disposal.
The platinum miners limp into the match after losing some of their key players during the just-ended mid-season transfer window.
The Zvishavane miners, who appeared compact during the last few years when they enjoyed success in the domestic league, should be feeling the pinch after they parted ways with the quartet of Elvis Moyo, Kevin Moyo, Farai Madhanhanga and Ali Sadiki.
The Moyo twins, Kevin and Elvis, joined Chippa United while Sadiki moved to Kabwe Warriors in Zambia.
Madhanhanga was the latest to leave when he signed for Bidvest Wits in South Africa.
Utility man Godknows Murwira has also crossed the floor to join rivals Dynamos.
The platinum miners, for the second game on the bounce, will not have their coach Norman Mapeza on the bench after the former Zimbabwe international was reportedly given a two-week leave to recover from an undisclosed sickness.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum have registered a 26-man squad, which coach Norman Mapeza believes has the capacity to again reach the CAF Champions’ League group stage.
In drafting his squad Mapeza and his lieutenants welcomed back former star player Rodwell Chinyengetere, who returned to the club after a short spell at South African Premiership side Baroka.
Congolese forward Guyve Mawete Nsiala also made the grade together with Evidence Tendayi who joined from Herentals last month.
The miners also flexed their financial clout and snapped roving left-wingback Tawana Chikore from Premiership debutants TelOne.
Four players from their developmental side also made the cut in the final 26 – Hagiazo El-Shaddai Magaya, Keith Madera, Panashe Mutimbanyoka and Kelvin Mangiza.
FC Platinum media liaison officer, Chido Chizondo, confirmed the squad last night.
The miners start their continental sojourn with a first round date against Nyasa Big Bullets which is coached by former Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa.
FC Platinum CAF Champions League Squad
Petros Mhari, Perfect Chikwende, Devon Chafa, Kelvin Madzongwe, Rapheal Muduviwa, Hagiazo El-Shaddai Magaya, Mkhokheli Dube, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Guyve Mawete Nsiala, Never Tigere, Charles Sibanda, William Stima, Gift Bello, Francis Tizayi, Rahman Kutsanzira, Rainsome Pavari, Lawrence Mhlanga, Albert Eonde, Kelvin Mangiza, Lameck Nhamo, Evidence Tendayi, Keith Madera, Gift Mbweti, Panashe Mutimbanyoka, Tawana Chikore, Wallace Magalane
Herentals v Bulawayo Chiefs (NSS)
ZPC Kariba v Hwange (Nyamhunga)
Dynamos v Triangle United (Rufaro)
Ngezi Platinum Stars v Harare City (Baobab)
FC Platinum v CAPS United (Mandava)
Manica Diamonds v Black Rhinos (Vengere)
Highlanders v Chapungu (Barbourfields), Tel One v Chicken Inn (TBA)