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CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro says the Green Machine will not be deterred by injuries in their camp as they go all out in search of a formula to upset rivals Harare City in a Premiership derby at Rufaro this afternoon. Harare City have proved a difficult opponent for Makepekepe in their short history in the Premiership as they have not lost a game to the more established opponents since their first league meeting on April 21, 2012.

The clubs have met four times with City winning once while three other matches ended in a stalemate.

However, CAPS United will be without their central defender Blessing Zabula, who has a swollen ankle, strikers Leonard Fiyado and Tongai Magwendere, who were casualties from their opening match against ZPC Kariba.

Zimbabwe international Hardlife Zvirekwi is still out but Mangwiro yesterday was confident that he has a g squad.

Highly-rated Malawian striker Ismael Thindwa is still waiting for his clearance papers before he can put on that green and white jersey in the league competition.

“It would have been ideal if we had all our players available, but this is part of the game. I am not really worried though because I believe everyone in our squad has the ability to do well if given the opportunity.

“So we are looking forward to some good performances,” said Mangwiro.

CAPS United were held to a 1-1 draw at home by newboys ZPC Kariba while City were losing 3-0 to Chicken Inn in Bulawayo.

With three of the players who started last week now being sidelined, Mangwiro will have to look into the reserves with the likes of Dominic Chungwa, who scored their solitary goal last week after getting in as second half substitute, Godknows Mangani, Moses Muchenje, Dominic Mukandi and Zambian Madalitso Mwanza all itching for game time.

However, the Green Machine will be hoping for more accuracy in front of goal.

Mangwiro said he will not look much into City’s form following their drubbing at Chicken Inn as he has better lessons from history.

He also banks on the supporters to give his team the support they need.

“I can’t talk much about Harare City but remember it’s the same team that took four points from us last year. This is an important fixture for us.

“We said we wanted a good start to the season and it was unfortunate last week that we dropped points against ZPC Kariba.

“For an opening match, however, I think the team played well but our conversion was our biggest letdown. We have been working on that and we would like to see an improvement.

“Our supporters were fantastic last week and I would like to commend them for their support. I am urging them to do the same thing in all our matches. I know their expectations are high and I am sure we can achieve much if they continue rallying behind us,” said Mangwiro.

City coach Bigboy Mawiwi will remember CAPS United as the team that contributed somewhat to denying them the league championship last season.

Mawiwi said they carry no bitter memories as the two teams clash for the first time since that afternoon, at the National Sports Stadium, when City could only manage a 2-2 draw.

The gaffer believes this is now a fresh game and they have since put that disappointment behind them.

“There are no bitter memories and that is now in the past. We will play our game as usual and it is not like it is revenge or anything,” he said.

The Sunshine Boys are still searching for their first set of points following a humiliating 3-0 defeat in the season-opener.

Last year Harare emerged victorious in the first round game before they succumbed to a draw in the last game of the season when they needed a victory to be crowned champions.

Despite losing their key player, Silas Songani, to Sweden, City managed to get replacements including capturing the CAPS United duo of Arnold Chivheya and Benson Maglasi, who should start against their former team today.

The Sunshine Boys also have exciting players like Nathan Ziwini, William Manondo, Phineas Bamusi, Talent Chawapiwa and newboy Misheck Mburayi.

“There are no easy games or small teams or big teams. ZPC are playing well and we will be playing them next and then Week Four we will play Dynamos.

“Hopefully, we will pick up the points. The first three games are crucial and if you don’t get a win then it will be tough.

“This championship looks wide open and if you look this weekend only Dynamos picked up maximum points among the teams which are considered top teams,” he said.

The former Gunners gaffer said his players are focused on the game after displaying some signs of complacency in the match against Chicken Inn.

Another interesting derby is on the cards in Triangle tomorrow when Biggie Zuze’s side host Moses Chunga’s Chiredzi at Gibbo.

Triangle will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing 3-1 defeat to Shabanie Mine last week in their opening match while newboys Chiredzi want to build on the 1-1 draw against FC Platinum in their first ever Premiership assignment.

Source : The Herald