Sunday, November 28, 2021
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The wait is over, welcome back Zim football

 Clayton Shereni

After
over a year of no domestic action, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is back and
will commence with the prestigious Chibuku Super Cup which will run from
Saturday, May 22, up to July 31.

A
total of 40 matches will be played in four groups, at four different venues in
four different cities.

Although
fans are not allowed in the stadia, they will have to cheer their beloved teams
from the comfort of their homes on Zimbabwe Television Network (ZTN) and
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) TV.

Here
is a look at the four groups and an analysis of the team’s and this weekend’s
fixtures.

Only
two top teams from each group will make it to the quarter finals.

Group 1: Caps United, Herentials FC,
Yadah FC, Dynamos, ZPC Kariba and Harare City FC

This
group will be situated in Harare and will use the giant National Sports Stadium
for all its matches.

The
six teams will lock horns in what seems to be the group of death for the Chibuku
contest.

Zimbabwe’s
most successful football club in terms number of trophies, Dynamos, who face
Herentials on Matchday One, seem to be the favourites to come out tops if their
form against Highlanders in the Uhuru Cup is anything to go by.

Dembare,
as Dynamos is affectionately known, will bank on the experience of Captain
Patson Jaure who came back from Manica Diamonds, as well as versatile player
Godknows Murwira.

Caps
United will also be in full force and have a relatively strong side, with the
likes of Blessing Sarupinda, Ronald Chitiyo and Leeroy Mavhunga who can cause
all sorts of problems.

Innocent
Benza, the oldest player in PSL, who is the owner and vice-captain of
Herentials, has reportedly demanded a win over Dynamos as a birthday present
after he recently turned 49.

However,
anything is possible in football, Harare City the cup’s 2015 winners, Yadah and
ZPC Kariba, may not be a walk over in this big group.

Caps
will play Yadah on Saturday while Harare City and ZPC Kariba lock horns the
following day.

Group 2: Teams: Highlanders,
Chicken Inn, Bulawayo Chiefs, Bulawayo City

This
group will witness what proves to be an all-Bulawayo team set-up, as the clubs,
that are all based in Bulawayo, battle for the top two sports at Barbourfields
stadium.

Bulawayo
giants and the Cup’s defending champions Highlanders will ride on their name
and use home turf advantage since they have used the venue more than any other
club in the group.

The
Joey Antipas coached side Chicken Inn will be without their priceless gem Clemence
Matawu in the middle of the park after he hanged his boots, but was returned to
take up an administrative role at the club.

Quartet
of Liberty Chakoroma, Malvin Gaki, Bret Amidu and Jackson Moses are expected to
power Chicken Inn past the group stages considering their experience with
domestic cups.

Stubborn
Bulawayo Chiefs, who recently launched their ‘Amakhosi Wear’ kit to become the
first local club to produce a kit brand, will definitely seek to upset the big
guns.

Bulawayo
City is an average side which may turn things upside down if the giants get too
much comfortable.

This
groups first fixtures will see Bulawayo City play the Game Cocks on Saturday while
Highlanders and Bulawayo Chiefs tussle on Sunday.

Group 3: Manica Diamonds FC, Tenax
CS FC, Black Rhinos FC, Cranbourne Bullets FC

Recently
upgraded Sakubva Stadium will be a hive of thrillers as army side Black Rhinos
and Prisons side and debutants Tenax fight to collect maximum points on
Saturday.

Tenax,
which has not made any headlines on the market, will be raring to have a good
start but Rhinos, aka Chauya Chipembere, who are famed for upsetting many big
teams, might be a huge task for Shadreck Mugurasave who will be seating on the
bench.

Johannes
Nhumwa, who will be starting a new season with Manica Diamonds, will have a
dance in the cup against Midlands-based and army side Cranbourne Bullets who
are also this year’s PSL debutants.

Nhumwa
took over from Luke ‘Vahombe’ Masomere who had trusted him to be his lieutenant
but many conspiracy theories surrounded Nhumwa’s rise and the fall of Masomere
at the Mutare-based side which he guided to an impressive fifth position finish
in 2019.

Although
they have not been parading diamonds like what they did in 2019, the Gem Boys
have tied down a few players including speedy forward Michael Tapera who joined
from Masvingo United after an impressive season.

Tapera,
who was on fire at the Mucheke-based side, impressed Nhumwa in the Manica Diamonds
Cup which they eventually won against Tenax in the final and was named the
Young player of the tournament.

If
experience is anything to go by, Rhinos might be the favorites to proceed to
the next round while Manica Diamonds have the best market value and
highly-rated players; more than any other team in the group.

Meanwhile,
Manica Diamonds players to look out for include Marshal Mudehwe, Peace Makaha,
Pascal Manhanga, Tichaona Mabvura and Timire Mamvura.

Group 4: FC Platinum, Ngezi
Platinum FC, Triangle United, Whawha FC

The
2019 league Champions FC Platinum will have home advantage as they host Ngezi
Platinum, Lowveld side Triangle United and Prisons side Whawha at their Mandava
base in Zvishavane.

Pure
Platinum Play, as FC Platinum are affectionately known, will be the team to
watch as they have been Zimbabwe’s champions for the past three years and might
want to extent their dominance in the Chibuku Super Cup.

FC
Platinum last won the cup in 2014 and will be itching to progress to the next
round but they have to deal with Whawha first on Saturday.

However,
the Norman Mapeza side will have to do without Donald Ngoma, Donald Chinya and
Blessing Muwoyo who are out injured.

Another
force to reckon in this group will be Ngezi Platinum aka Madamburo who have a
much stronger side.

Madamburo’s
tried and tested midfielder Devon Chafa will want to win his seventh career
title while rejuvenated striker Denver Mukamba will be out to prove critics
wrong.

Triangle
are not new to this tournament and have won it in 2018 when they beat Harare
City 2-0 in the final.

They
will be seeking the tourney’s glory once again and head coach Taurai Mangwiro
will surely go out in full force to try and progress to the next round.

Quarter Finals

This
stage will see Group 1 winners play Group 3 runners up while the Group 3 winner
face Group 1 second placed side.

The
other quarter final matches will pit Group 4 winner and the second placed team
in Group 2 while Group 4 runner up play the team which finishes first in Group
2.

A
semifinal draw will be done after the quarter final matches are played to
determine who faces who ahead of the grand finale which will be played on July
31.

The
ultimate winner will pocket US$75000 which will be paid using the day’s
official interbank prevailing rate.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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