All ROADS leads to Barbourfields stadium this Sunday as the two Zimbabwean soccer giants Highlanders fc and Dynamos fc clash in what is set to be a fierce battle between the two archrivals in match day 8 of the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League.
By MILTON MASHASHA Sports Reporter in Byo,Zim.
This will be the second meeting for the Zimbabwean most supported clubs this season after they met in the Uhuru independence cup final where the Harare giants came out victors despatching Highlanders 3-2 on penalties,after a one all draw stalemate in regulation time.
Both teams seem to have prepared enough for this long awaited fixture.Their previous cup engagement might not have any significant to this encounter as now there are three results to expect,a draw,win or lose as compared to a cup final only a win was required at the end of the match.Therefore the approach of cup games and league matches sometimes do differ.
Erol Akbay and Lloyd Mutasa have got in their squads experienced and young players with passion for success.Moreover Highlanders fc have got a slight edge over Dynamos,that is the squad comparison,their squad (Highlanders)has been together for a season or two with only few additionals whilst the visitors Dynamos fc are on a rebuilding exercise after a mass exodus of their senior players at the end of the 2016 season whilst others were forced out of the club.
One of the players who fell victim to the Mutasa led technical department,would like to prove the Dynamos executive and the technical department wrong for expelling him,is none other than the self styled “The Prince” Rodrick Mutuma,who crossed the (floor) great divide to join the black and white army that is Highlanders fc.He will be the centre stage of attraction on Sunday.Mutuma has done well so far in Highlanders colours partnering well with the slippery forward Prince Dube who is likely to miss the big encounter due to injury after limping off during the match against Chapungu at Ascot stadium in Gweru.
The gangly striker,Rodrick Mutuma has sent shock waves to many defenders as he is and will be always a threat when ever in possession especially in the danger zone of attack.He is likely to be kept at bay under lock and key by the Dynamos defence.His presence in the field of play unsettle the opponents even though he has scored a single goal so far.
All in all,the battle is likely to be won in the middle of the park whereby Dynamos might have an edge over Highlanders,especially if they employ speedy wingers like Emmanuel Mandiranga and Masimba Màmbare and of late the host midfield has been found wanting in the matches played so far.The flow and fluidity of their passing game as their trademark is not all that enterprising as expected.Erol Akbay is likely to thrust in the midfield among players like Eric Mudzingwa,Tendai Ngulube,Simon Munawa,Rahman Kutsanzira,Allen Gahadzikwa,Yves Ebabali,King Nadolo and Godfrey Makaruse who was sidelined by an injury.In defence Tendai Ndlovu,Peter Muduhwa and Benson Phiri are likely to maintain their positions with the return of Honest Moyo to reclaim his left back position after missing out the Chapungu game due to suspension.Upfront Rodrick Mutuma might be give the nod ahead of veteran Ralph Matema,Mutuma is likely to partner the speedy merchant Gabriel Nyoni if Prince Dube fails to make it for the match.
Moreso Akbay is likely to unleash his foreign duo of Tambwe Kalunga and Manuel Esono Obiang Bwale as the other option for fire power upfront.Akbay’s counterpart,Lloyd Mutasa might feel not intimidated and outdone relying on the experienced back line that is likely to include skipper Ocean Mushure,Elisha Muroiwa,Obey Mwerahari and Lincolin Zvasiya ahead of young Peace Makaha and Phakamani Dube,whilst in the midfield,Mutasa will be banking on the likes of Masimba Màmbare who enjoys scoring at will against his former paymasters,Highlanders,Denva Mukamba,Takuda Sadiki,Emmanuel Mandiranga,Cleopas Kapupurika,Gift Saunyama,Valentine Ndaba,Simbarashe Gorogodyo and Wisdom Mutasa to fight for that midfield department slots.Mutasa is likely to throw the Cameroonian forward Ntouba Epoupa Christian Joel along side Quality Kàngadze upfront in search for goals.
It promises to be an exciting and entertaining match and a blockbuster on its self taking into consideration that last season Highlanders emerged victors on both encounters breaking a 10year jinx of dominance by their old rivals.Therefore Dynamos would want to maintain their dominance over their fierce archrivals,Highlanders.A spirited fight and performance is expected from both sides to avoid humiliation in front of their vocal anticipating fans.
It looks like it will be a balanced affair,the match can go either way depending on how the teams will handle the pressure.Meanwhile,a double header is on the cards today as Howmine fc host FC Platinum at lunch time 13:00hrs followed by the match pitting Bulawayo City against the army side Blacks Rhinos who have done so well so far conceding only 2 goals in 7 games.
Both matches will be beamed live by supersport as well as the match between Highlanders and Dynamos on Sunday afternoon.Its a gala to the Bulawayo soccer fans especially to those who will throng Barbourfields stadium on Saturday to grace the soccer fiasco.Hence,the big one,the Battle of Zimbabwe Part (1) is on Sunday at the same venue Barbourfields Stadium.
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