HARARE – The decisive phase of the Castle Premier Soccer League season gets into another gear this afternoon when defending champions Dynamos host Motor Action whilst title hopefuls Highlanders take on Shabanie Mine.
Zimbabwe will virtually be separated into two camps this afternoon when both matches kick off at 3pm with most people following proceedings at Rufaro and Barbourfields stadia.
Both Highlanders and Dynamos will be hard pressed to earn a positive result when the clock hits full time today in a battle for the title that began six months ago.
For Dynamos, who will be missing defender Partson Jaure and midfielder Devon Chafa through suspension when they meet bogey side Motor Action, victory will be an important step towards the successful defence of the league title.
The Glamour Boys lead the chasing pack with 49 points from 21 games having won 15 games, drawn four times and lost twice.
Going into today’s fixtures, DeMbare who only managed to beat basement side Quelaton via a penalty shootout to secure a Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter final slot, still hold the initiative with nine games remaining in the season.
However they face a Motor Action outfit determined to knock them off their perch.
Having been booted out of the first round of action in the Mbada Diamonds Cup last weekend, Joey Antipas’ men are determined to restore pride this afternoon. The two sides drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture.
Some 400 kilometres away from Rufaro, another battle for supremacy will be brewing at Barbourfields between the Bulawayo giants and Shabanie Mine.
The last time the two sides met, Highlanders emerged 2-0 winners at Maglas Stadium.
On the very last day of last season, relegation-threatened Shabanie dismissed Bosso 2-0 to survive to survive the chop.
The third placed asbestos miners, who are 11 points adrift of log leaders Dynamos, are aware that victory will re-ignite their fight for the title.
Second-placed Bosso’ unbeaten run has been undermined by eight costly draws. The Bulawayo giants have won 13 times and are two points shy of DeMbare.
The most worrying factor for Kevin Kaindu’s side is the way they have failed to hit top gear in their last three matches.
Bosso struggled against Chicken Inn in a mid-week goalless derby last week and scrapped through to the Mbada Diamonds quarter final after edging ten-man Blue Rangers 2-1 last Saturday.
Victory for Highlanders will give them a great chance to maintain the pressure on Dynamos, who might be derailed by Motor Action this afternoon.
Meanwhile the battle for relegation is proving to be more intriguing with the relegation-threatened duo of Gunners and Hardbody squaring off at Ascot Stadium this afternoon
Second from bottom Blue Rangers face a basement side Quelaton at Gwanzura Stadium.
Hardbody v Gunners (Ascot Stadium), Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields Stadium), Dynamos v Motor Action (Rufaro Stadium), Blue Rangers v Quelaton (Gwanzura Stadium), Buffaloes v Harare City (Sakubva Stadium)