BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE MAKING the long trip to Harare for a date against giants Dynamos has become an easy and favourite league fixture for champions FC Platinum in recent years.
FC Platinum have successfully managed to avoid defeat against Dynamos in Harare since a 1- 0 loss back in May, 2015. FC Platinum have also won three of their last four games against Dembare in Harare while the other encounter finished in a nil all draw.
The Norman Mapeza coached side are currently in impressive form having won their last seven league matches to climb to the summit of the standings.
And this afternoon, the two teams clash in a mouth-watering tie at the National Sports Stadium with contrasting fortune as Dembare look to end a three match winless run while FC Platinum seek an eighth straight win.
Defeat for the Harare giants could spark a full-fledged crisis a few games into the second half of the season.
But Mapeza refused to look much into Dynamos’ recent woes.
“It’s none of our business (Dynamos’ bad form). We are concentrating on what we are doing here as a club and they are not the only team which has lost in the first three games of the second half of the season. So if we are going to read much into that then we will be in trouble. We understand that much focus is on us going there and trying to come back home with a positive result,” Mapeza said ahead of one of the biggest fixtures on the local football calendar.
The FC Platinum coach whose team went into the weekend fixtures with a five point lead at the top of the standings says his team is not under any kind of pressure.
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“We are not playing our games with any pressure at all; we are on top of the log. It happens all over the world if you play and win games you end up on top of the log. We just take each game as it comes. What is important for us is to have the same mentality of working hard and have the same desire to win matches, otherwise there’s nothing much,” he said.
The Zvishavane-based side welcome utility players Blessing Moyo back into the squad from injury while Petro Mhari, William Stima, Hagiazo Magaya and Gift Bello are set to miss the tie for different reasons.
Dembare coach Tonderai Ndiraya will be looking for a win that would ease pressure on him after losing two of the last three matches and is sweating on the availability of the injured duo of King Nadolo and Shadreck Nyahwa.
Ndiraya admits to the pressure which comes with representing Dynamos in the local league.
“Of course pressure is always there at Dynamos, whether you’re eight points behind or two points behind. I think if you recall the pressure was even there when we were on top of the log. That is our team, that is our institution,” he said.
“Fortunately most players are now beginning to understand those dynamics and are getting to learn along the way what really it is about our team and hopefully they are getting stronger by each passing game. Hopefully we can all put our act together and get a result,” Ndiraya added.