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CAPS United stand-in skipper Tendai Samanja says their battle against bitter rivals Dynamos on Sunday is more than just a charity match.The two giants meet in the Commander Zimbabwe National Army Charities Challenge Cup semi-final showdown at the National Sports Stadium.

The defensive midfielder, who is the skipper in place of injured captain Tapuwa Khumbuyani, told The Herald that there were no charity contests when it comes to matches between CAPS United and Dynamos.

Samanja said he had already detected the excitement, among his new teammates, of plunging into a derby against the eternal enemy.

The Green Machine are the defending champions after they beat Black Rhinos 2-0 last year at Rufaro.

The tournament has now been revamped and features giants Dynamos while Highlanders and CAPS United know that they need to do more to win the tourney.

Bosso take on FC Platinum in another semi-final at Barbourfields.

“We are prepared. Even the mood at training is great and everyone is ready for the game,” said Samanja. “For the new players, it’s their first derby and they are also eager to play in the game.

“It has been long since we won a match against them and we have been losing matches, but what is on our mind right now is that we need to win the game.

“After all, we are the defending champions of this Cup and we can do it (win the tournament) again. It is a new year and new things are expected every year. So our fans should just come in their numbers and support us, we will do our best.”

CAPS United will miss defender Hardlife Zvirekwi and possibly Ronald Pfumbidzayi, the star of their 2-0 win over Rhinos, who are likely to be with the national team in Tanzania this weekend.

But a team like the Green Machine should not rely on two players and, after all, Zvirekwi has just returned to first team action after a period on the sidelines.

“A good team should just win whether one player is missing or not. It is actually a chance for other players to play,” said Samanja, who has been consistent for the Green Machine this season.

“Only Khumbuyani is injured and from the 30 registered players we should field a competitive team.’

Coach Taurai Mangwiro is likely to field David Chipala, Asani Nhongo and recall Blessing Zabula into the team which will also have Stephen Makatuka, who missed the Warriors trip because his travel documents are not in order.

“We are not happy with the way we have been playing, we are lacking consistency but we have been working hard at training so that we win as many matches as we can,” said Samanja.

Should CAPS United win on Sunday, and break a lengthy jinx, it is likely to be celebrated on the green side of the capital even though this isn’t a league match.

After all, the Dynamos skipper was bullish this week and even suggested that it was part of their DNA to beat CAPS United.

With the Castle Lager Premiership taking a break this weekend, because of the Warriors commitments in Tanzania, and the European leagues on an end-of-season break, this is the only big match in town.

And the organisers appear to have timed their game to perfection and have even reduced the ticket prices with the cheapest tickets going for US$2.

The league programme resumes next week.

Bantu Rovers will kick-start Week Eight programme on Tuesday with a date against Chicken Inn at Luveve and the matches will be rounded on Thursday while Week Nine will then start on Saturday and would end the following Monday with the match between Harare City and Black Rhinos at Rufaro.

Fixtures

Tuesday 20 May: Bantu Rovers v Chicken Inn (Luveve).

Wednesday 21 May: How Mine v CAPS United (Luveve), Triangle United v Buffaloes (Gibbo), Chapungu v Hwange (Ascot 3pm, SuperSport), Dynamos v FC Platinum (National Sports Stadium), Black Rhinos v ZPC Kariba (Rimuka).

Thursday 22 May: Shabanie Mine v Chiredzi (Maglas, 3pm SuperSport), Highlanders v Harare City (Barbourfields).

Saturday 24 May: ZPC Kariba v How Mine (Gwanzura), Chicken Inn v Chapungu (Luveve), FC Platinum v Triangle United (Mandava, 1pm SuperSport).

Sunday 25 May: Buffaloes v Highlanders (Sakubva), Hwange v Shabanie Mine (Colliery), CAPS United v Bantu Rovers (National Sports Stadium), Chiredzi v Dynamos (Chishamiso, 3pm SuperSport).

Monday 26 May: Harare City v Black Rhinos (Rufaro).

Source : The Herald

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