ALL roads lead to the ceremonial home of football, Rufaro Stadium, as perennial soccer city rivals Dynamos and CAPS United meet in a Harare derby on Sunday.
The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League enters Week 21, a decisive time for those chasing the title.
Five teams Dynamos, Harare City, Highlanders, CAPS United and FC Platinum are the top contenders for the title.
Stakes are high in the match as CAPS United seek to reverse the 1-nil loss they suffered at the National Sports Stadium in May.
A win for Caps United and loss for Highlanders will catapult the Green Machine to the apex of the log.
Highlanders will also be in a Bulawayo derby facing How Mine at Luveve Stadium.
Dynamos are on 38 points while CAPS are on 35.
Dynamos are leading the log on superior goal difference while Harare City are on second with equal number of points.
Dynamos won the last edition of the derby through a penalty converted by suspended Devon Chafa after Clive Kawinga was brought down in the box.
It was the penalty that separated the two teams and revenge will be CAPS United’s mission on Sunday.
While the Harare derby has over the years become a one-sided affair, this second round match promises to be a thriller as CAPS United have found their ‘spark’.
Kepekepe have gone nine games without a loss and will be seeking to extend the purple patch.
Since the game will be the main attraction of the weekend, Taurai Mangwiro and his opposite number Kalisto Pasuwa will field their strongest sides thus creating a sure formula for a thriller.
Warriors goalkeeper, Tafadzwa Dube is the probable number one for CAPS as the former FC Platinum shot-stopper has not diminished.
CAPS United got a major blow as defender Arnold Chivheya is serving a one match suspension. He was likely to assume the central defence role together with Tawanda Munyanduri, if available for selection.
Hardlife Zvirekwi who scored a brilliant goal against Tripple B last week is likely to start as a midfielder, complemented by captain Tapuwa Khumbuyani on the right back.
Tendai Samanja may play the defensive link while Rahman Kutsanzira will be the attacking midfielder.
Former Monomotapa captain Tawanda Nyamandwe is likely to come to the party upfront together with in-form Dominic Chungwa.
The derby being important for the defending champions, Pasuwa will likely have in the first line-up George Chigova with Gift Bello marshalling the defence together with Partson Jaure who returned from South Africa where the Warriors played a friendly match against Bafana Bafana on Tuesday.
Ocean Mushure and Oscar Machapa are the likely choices for the left and right back roles.
Utility player Thomas Magorimbo, who was likely to lend a midfield role as Chafa is serving a one month suspension from football activities, is also serving a one match suspension after accumulating three yellow cards. Magorimbo is Dembare’s priced asset as he has featured for the Glamour Boys regularly for the defending champions and can play at any position.
In his absence, Sydeny Linyama may assume the defensive link role.
Captain Tawanda Muparati is likely to lead the team while veteran Murape Murape – depending on his form – may be introduced as a substitute later in the game.
Midfielder Russell Madamombe also is likely to be in the starting 11 for the Glamour Boys as the former Monoz star has gelled well into the Dembare camp.
In the Buluwayo derby, How Mine will be looking to complete a double against Highlanders.
In the first encounter, How Mine won the match 2-1 after the gold miners’ captain scored twice, an own goal before he scored an equaliser before the halftime.
A late goal by Nqobile Mpala gave the gold miners the crucial three points.
Elsewhere, Triangle host Harare City at Gibbo Stadium as the Harare side seek to maintain their title chase.
City were shocked by Dynamos in a 1-3 drubbing at Rufaro.
‘Kanzuru’ as the sunshine boys are affectionately known in the soccer circles, have been a stubborn side upsetting the so-called big guns.
Other league contenders FC Platinum host Monoz at Mandava while Tripple B continue their relegation fight when they play host to equally troubled Hwange at Dulibadzimu.
Chicken Inn host Black Rhinos while Shabanie entertain Motor Action. Black Mambas host army side Buffaloes at Morris Depot in Harare.