CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe admits having a dilemma of managing the number of games his team has to play this season as they also compete on the African safari, as he hosts Bulawayo side Tsholotsho at the National Sports Stadium today.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Chitembwe, whose side enters the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League draw on Wednesday with 15 other top African clubs, had to sacrifice the Independence Cup to keep some of his top players fresh for the club’s priority competitions in the African safari and the domestic league.
The CAPS United gaffer picked immensely-weakened sides, which saw the team lose to Dynamos and FC Platinum in the Uhuru Cup.
“We are one team that is set to play a bigger number of games. For your own information, we are going to play not less than 50 games, which is a huge number in less than nine months while most teams are going to play just 34 games,” he said during a press conference.
“We really need to make sure we are sensible in managing these games because not all of your top players will play in all the matches,” he added.
Chitembwe’s remarks suggest that he may have to save his best players in lesser league games during the course of the season, perhaps beginning with the Tsholotsho game.
But he dismissed the notion that today’s opponents are an easy proposition.
“All the premiership teams are never easy. There are no easy games in the premiership. This game is a new game and we will try to give our best so that we get the result that we cherish,” he said.
Ironically, CAPS United is yet to impose themselves as the team to beat in the league after managing a draw with newly-promoted Shabanie Mine and a far from convincing 2-1 win over struggling Harare City.
However, Chitembwe said he was happy with the start to the title defence, specifically because his team is yet to lose a match.
CAPS United welcome back goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who has been out for the past couple of weeks due to injury while the rest of the team is fit.
Tsholotsho, coached by Farai Tawechera, have had an indifferent start to their campaign although they remain unbeaten having drawn three times, but the match against CAPS United is their biggest test so far.