GUNNERS’ new coach, Moses Chunga’s credentials come under check this afternoon when his charges take on red-hot Dynamos at Rufaro this afternoon.
Report by Albert Marufu
Elsewhere, unbeaten log leaders, Highlanders, host Motor Action at Barbourfields, while struggling Taurai Mangwiro’s CAPS United will be hoping for a change of fortunes against Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium.
A loss for CAPS United will see them stretching their record losing streak to eight, while a win for Dynamos will see them piling pressure on the unbeaten Highlanders.
However, it is the battle at Rufaro where Chunga is expected to turn around the fortunes of the struggling Gunners, with his first task being to plot Dynamos’ downfall, which may prove most difficult.
The 2009 championship-winning coach was introduced as Gunners’ new coach on Friday, taking over from Thanks Tengwe.
The battle at Rufaro also pits Chunga with his former protégé at CAPS United — Kalisto Pasuwa — who is the head coach at Dynamos.
Gunners are sitting fourth from the bottom of the log, while Pasuwa’s Dynamos are just three points behind log leaders Highlanders and have a game in hand.
Dynamos reduced the gap between them and Bosso following their emphatic drubbing of FC Platinum on Wednesday.
If DeMbare beat Gunners and Bosso fall to Motor Action, the two teams will have garnered the same number of points.
A loss for Gunners will leave them tottering near the troubled waters of relegation, so they would need to start picking up points early.
The former Dynamos coach could not be reached for comment, but the team’s assistant coach, Lazarus Pararayi, did not hide the need for the team to start picking up points.
“Playing against Dynamos is always a motivating factor for the players. The players are geared up for the match and with the exception of the suspended Pardon Chinungwa and Willard Gondo, every player is available for selection,” he said.
Asked if they were not wary of the threat posed by their former player, Cliff Sekete, Pararayi said Gunners are ready to neutralise his threat.
Dynamos assistant coach, Tonderai Ndiraya, admitted that this was going to be a tough match, as Gunners always give his side a run for their money.
“Teams that are fighting relegation are always difficult to play against. Gunners always give us lots of problems and last time, it took us 80 minutes to get the winning goal. They have exciting midfielders, but it will be different this time since they have lost players such as Cliff Sekete to us, Ali Sadiki and Quad Amini, to FC Platinum,” he said.
Ndiraya added that, save for Milton Makopa, who has chest pains and the injured Arthur Kaseloki, all the other players are available for selection.
Dynamos will be hoping that Denver Mukamba, whose brace saw off the challenge of FC Platinum on Wednesday, continues with his rich vein of form.
Farai Mupasiri, Sekete and Martin Vengesai could also prove to be a handful, so will be the return of Roderick Mutuma from suspension.
At Barbourfields, Zambian coach Kelvin Kaindu, will be hoping that the team continues with its winning streak against Motor Action. Interestingly, Highlanders will be banking on three former Motor Action players; Bekimpilo Ncube, club top goal scorer, Milton Ncube and Masimba Mambare to win the match.
Hwange v Chicken Inn (Colliery), Harbody v Quelaton (Ascot), Dynamos v Gunners (Rufaro) buffaloes v CAPS United (Sakubva), Highlanders v Monomotapa (Barbourfields)