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HARARE giants CAPS United and Dynamos have expressed reservations at meeting for the third time within a space of a month in the pre-season.

On Sunday, the two teams meet in the Zimbabwe National Army Commanders’ Charity shield at Rufaro while Highlanders and How Mine clash in the other semi-final in Bulawayo.

Last month, Dynamos and CAPS United played in the Sino-Zimbabwe Cement Challenge, which was a pre-season match and the two teams again clashed last weekend in the Bob@91 Super Cup.

CAPS United won the first meeting while Dynamos got their revenge last weekend and the two giants will square off again in the league programme during week four.

Dynamos assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya said the pre-season fixtures were beyond their control and he expressed hope that the real league derby will remain exciting for both teams.

“As big teams, we wouldn’t want to play each other week in week out. We want the derby to have that glamour and I hope this match will retain the same excitement as the one last week because we have played each other three times now.

“Sometimes it becomes a little bit boring to play the same opponents over and over again, particularly before the start of the season but as Dynamos we are always prepared to play CAPS United at any time. We are preparing for that and by Sunday we should be ready,” said Ndiraya.

Dynamos midfielder Masimba Mambare and defender Obey Mwerahari have both been ruled out of the match.

Ndiraya said the players have picked up injuries and will not be able to recover in time for the pre-season game.

“We have Mambare and Obey who are casualties from the players who were in training and will definitely miss the game on Sunday,” said Ndiraya.

Ndiraya said the club has been preparing without goalkeeper Tendai Mukuruva and right-back Blessing Moyo who are with the national Under-23 team.

Utility player Carlos Rusere is also in national Under-23 side while Makepekepe have three players called for the Olympic team who include left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai, Takudzwa Mahori and Kudzai Nyamufukudza.

CAPS United coach Mark Harrison echoed Ndiraya’s sentiments and his side was now focusing more on their first league game against Whawha than the match against Dynamos on Sunday.

“It’s not an ideal situation for teams to play each other week in week out. I have got to be honest that we are preparing for Whawha and that’s our main priority now.

“We will use the game against Dynamos as friendly to prepare for Whawha and I will probably mix young players and fringe players,” said Harrison.

“These games take a lot of drain on the players mentally and physically and it’s not ideal to be playing the same team three times in four weeks. Of course it’s nice to play in front of big crowds in a big atmosphere but to be playing the same team three times in three weeks doesn’t help your preparations. “Our first game is away against Whawha and that’s an absolute opposite end of the spectrum to playing Dynamos at Rufaro. So it disrupts preparations for me as a coach.

“I got to think of all sorts of things. It’s not about playing one game. I know the supporters love playing against each other, I understand all that but as a coach I am looking at the big picture.

“I have 30 league games to get through and two big cup competitions to get through and that’s what my priority is and not one game in pre-season,” said Harrison.

Source : The Herald

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