Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
GIANTS CAPS United have a lot of emotional baggage to deal with ahead of the top-of-the-table clash against title contenders Chicken Inn at Barbourfields tomorrow.
The last few days have been particularly bad for the Premiership log leaders, who are riding on a five-point cushion at the summit with eight games remaining.
One of their most influential players, Method Mwanjali, picked up an injury that ruled him out for the season.
Then their coach Darlington Dodo lost his son in a road accident at the weekend.
They also have two other players unavailable because of injury and suspension.
The Green Machine family yesterday spent the better part of the day with the Dodo family for the burial of the late Don Dodo at the Zororo Memorial Park.
Dodo confounded critics after taking over from his former boss, Lloyd Chitembwe, who shifted base to Harare City two months ago.
While their opponents have been dropping points, Makepekepe are currently on a four-match winning streak which has helped gather momentum in the homestretch.
The least, they had wanted at the moment was anything to disrupt their positive spirits.
It was not clear yesterday if Dodo would travel to Bulawayo for the match against Chicken Inn but indications were that he would not be part of the cast.
Kudzai Nyamupfukudza is nursing an injury while Valentine Musarurwa has been suspended for the top-of-the-table league clash against Chicken Inn at Barbourfields tomorrow because of yellow cards.
CAPS United need to cement their place at the summit.
However, the absence of the defensive players could also be a potential source of headaches for the technical team.
“Of course, we have to remain focused, we haven’t lost sight of the mission. But it’s been a difficult week for us,’’ said a club official.
“Things were happening one after another and it’s emotionally taxing for anyone to be in such a situation.
“The coach is devastated by the death of his son and the normal thing is that he should take some days off but it’s all up to him if he feels he needs to be part of the team in Bulawayo.
“We also have injured players like Kudzi (Nyamupfukudza) who is set for an x-ray.’’
Chicken Inn are in third place but have fallen seven points off the mark.
Makepekepe have 50 points while the Gamecocks have 43 and are desperate to close the gap.
Defending champions FC Platinum are the closet rivals on 45 points.
They take on Dynamos at Rufaro.
Tomorrow: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Bulawayo Chiefs (Baobab), Dynamos v FC Platinum (Rufaro), ZPC Kariba v Highlanders (Nyamhunga), Chicken Inn v CAPS United (Barbourfields)