DeMbare in trouble


IT was a reality that even ardent supporters of the self-proclaimed Zimbabwe’s biggest club Dynamos FC had refused to embrace but their three-nil mauling by bitter rivals Highlanders on Sunday has awakened them from their slumber.
Tell-tale signs of disaster had been there even before the season started as the club failed to sign or retain key players who had been instrumental in their title challenge run in the 2017 season.
They failed to tie star striker and Cameroonian Christian Epoupa to a long-term deal, forcing the gangly forward to terminate his contract with the team.
More problems were to manifest in the field of play as DeMbare were virtually out of the title race just five matches into the season.
That run has continued even though it has been interrupted by intermittent good performances that have masked the underlying problems affecting the Harare giants.
They now find themselves sitting precariously just above the drop zone going into the final stages of the season and cannot afford any slip ups if they are to survive.
On Sunday, they take on a Harare City, a side that has illuminated the premier league with some fine flowing football in a league that has been woefully devoid of brilliance.
The Sunshine Boys, as Harare City are affectionately known, sit comfortably on 7th position while De Mbare are on 12th place with a paltry 29 points just five above the drop zone.
Another defeat for DeMbare could trigger a crisis that the club has been defiantly trying to mask.
On Saturday, reigning champions and log leaders FC Platinum will be looking to consolidate their grip on top of the log when they play host to unpredictable Herentals at Mandava Stadium.
It has been a good season for the Norman Mapeza side which has won his team admiration, even from neutrals.
FC Platinum have won two of their last three matches with conviction.
Herentals, sitting on 10th position, have been causing several upsets in the league so far.
Minnows Bulawayo City will lock horns with Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow in a match in which the Gamecocks are expected to steamroll past their opponents.
Bulawayo City have been on a dreadful run that has seen them losing their five matches while Chicken Inn have won two and drawn one of their last three matches.
Chicken Inn still have a mathematical chance of clinching the title despite sitting 3rd on the log and 11 points of pace from the log leaders.
Highlanders will be buoyed by their three thumping of fading giants DeMbare when they make the long journey to Kariba for a date with ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium tomorrow.
Bosso put up one of the season’s best performances in their annihilation of an out-of-sorts Dynamos and after a poor run of two losses and a draw, tomorrow’s encounter with ZPC Kariba will further reignite their hopes of a top four finish.
Yadah FC will be hoping to avoid a baptism of fire when they host title contenders Ngezi Platinum at Rufaro Stadium.
The hosts have blown hot and cold this season, while their opponents who, at one point, looked as if they would run away with the title have rediscovered the form that made them one of the most feared sides at the beginning of the season.
Tomorrow’s round of fixtures will be completed by the match between CAPS United and Shabanie in a contest of some of the most inconsistent sides in the league.
While CAPS United are sitting on 5th position, it has been their unpredictable form that has been a cause for concern to their toiling supporters.
They have won just one match in their last three encounters which has been sandwiched by two disappointing draws.
Shabanie Mine, on the other hand, are a pale shadow of the fierce team that produced the likes of the great Francis Chandida, Thomas Makwasha and Asani Juma.
They are as good as relegated, having lost their five matches.
Anchoring the log, they will have little chance of causing an upset for the Green Machine tomorrow.
A battle of relegation tops the bill for Sunday’s round of matches when minnows Chapungu take on struggling Nichrut who will be missing the services of controversial striker Roderick Mutuma through suspension at Ascot Stadium.
Both teams are staring at the barrel of relegation and are sitting on 13th and 15th positions respectively.
Bulawayo City take on Triangle United at Luveve Stadium while army side Black Rhinos entertain Mutare City at the National Sports Stadium.
FC Platinum vs Herentals (Mandava Stadium)
Bulawayo City vs Chicken Inn (Barbourfileds Stadium)
ZPC Kariba vs Highlanders (Nyamhunga Stadium)
Yadah FC vs Ngezi Platinum (Rufaro Stadium)
Caps United vs Shabanie Mine (National Sports Stadium)
Chapungu vs Nichrut (Ascot Stadium)
Bulawayo Chiefs vs Triangle (Luveve Stadium)
Harare City vs Dynamos FC (Rufaro Stadium)
Black Rhinos vs Mutare City (National Sports Stadium)


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