Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS coach Lloyd Mutasa believes his camp has been boosted by the return of forward Emmanuel Mandiranga and defender Peace Makaha for the blockbuster clash against old rivals CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium this Sunday. The Harare Derby, which turns 41 this weekend, comes at a time when the struggling Glamour Boys have gone six games without a win in the opening fixtures of the 2018 league campaign.
But with two of his key players who missed the start of the season back in the team, Mutasa yesterday sounded upbeat.
Only midfielder Marvelous Mukumba, who picked an ankle injury during the last pre-season practice match against Mutare City, remains doubtful.
“We have all the players up and about, probably except Marvelous Mukumba, who started training this week. Otherwise, the rest are back and ready for the showdown. I think it’s a healthy situation. You get to choose your team from the bulk of the players that you registered. I think that’s what we had wanted from the onset.
“We are happy that we are having all our players at a time when we are about to play a derby match against CAPS United,” said Mutasa.
He said Mandiranga’s availability could widen the options in the misfiring strikeforce which he has singled out as the team’s weakness. DeMbare have been struggling to find a solution to their scoring challenges since their top goalscorer last season, Cameroonian striker Christian Joel Epoupa, decided he wanted out of the club.
Makaha provides the big match temperament that has been lacking in the newly-assembled outfit.
DeMbare are also set to welcome back James Marufu, who missed the 1-1 draw against Yadah Stars last week, through suspension. Given the way they have started the season, winning against CAPS United looks highly unlikely, but then there is an air of belief in the Glamour Boys camp.
Lloyd Mutasa and his men know losing to CAPS United could have far-reaching consequences.
“I think these youngsters really know what it means to be playing CAPS United during this time. I am sure it’s a match that would probably give us confidence if we manage to get a good result,’’ he said.
“We have been longing for a positive result. I am sure we have done what is supposed to be done in terms of preparations and this is a game that we should be hungry to try and collect maximum points.
“We would want to indicate to the Doubting Thomases that we have a team good enough to do better than what we did last year and if we beat a team like CAPS United, then it will be probably a mark towards that direction.’’
Harare City v Black Rhinos (Rufaro) ZPC Kariba v Chicken Inn (Nyamhunga), Bulawayo City v Triangle United (Barbourfields), Yadah v Nichrut (NSS), Ngezi Platinum v Mutare City Rovers (Baobab), Bulawayo Chiefs v FC Platinum (Luveve)
CAPS United v Dynamos (NSS), Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields), Chapungu v Herentals (Ascot)