Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
FC PLATINUM could be seven points clear at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership by end of day, but they need to break a long-standing jinx when they host CAPS United at Mandava this afternoon. Norman Mapeza’s men have not beaten the Green Machine either at home or away since 2014.
And, after dropping points in their previous two games against ZPC Kariba and Yadah, Mapeza feels it’s time they raise the tempo.
Their nearest rivals in the championship race, Ngezi Platinum, will play against Dynamos at Rufaro tomorrow.
“Football differs every season. You know we haven’t been getting some positive results against CAPS United.
“It has been draws and draws, but it’s a new ball game,’’ said Mapeza.
“I think we know where we are standing at the moment. We need to start picking up points and I just hope that if the guys play to their best of their abilities, we will be able to break the jinx.
“It’s about mental strength, it’s about belief.
“Everybody goes through this phase in football, but you need to go out there with a positive mind.
“It’s just a setback, it happens in football, but like I said, it’s about mental strength at the end of the day.
“We might talk to the guys, we might do whatever we can with the boys, but at the end of the day they need to go out there with a positive mind.’’
The platinum miners have brought in new striker Thomas Chideu from Golden Arrows in South Africa.
Their opponents CAPS United are still to beef up their squad, but they are seriously considering former Chicken Inn and Kaizer Chiefs man Michelle Katsvairo.
Makepekepe are currently sixth on the log standings with 31 points.
Ngezi are in second place with 41 points.
Ngezi have not beaten Dynamos in Harare since they got promoted in 2016.
But they face a Dynamos side probably at their weakest point.
DeMbare vice-captain Obey Mwerahari has pleaded with the club’s supporters to rally behind the team.
“I urge our supporters to be patient. We are trying our best.
“I know this institution belongs at the top and we are trying our best,” said Mwerahari.
However, DeMbare are likely to face resistance from their supporters who are querying the club’s wisdom to hike gate charges to $5 when the match will also be broadcast on ZTV.
Today: Harare City v Chapungu (Rufaro, 3pm, ZTV), Bulawayo Chiefs v Bulawayo City (Luveve), FC Platinum v CAPS United (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Yadah (National Sports Stadium), Nichrut v Shabanie (Ascot).
Tomorrow: Dynamos v Ngezi Platinum (Rufaro, 3pm, ZTV), Herentals v ZPC Kariba (National Sports Stadium), Triangle v Highlanders (Gibbo), Mutare City Rovers v Chicken Inn (Vengere).