The Sunday Mail
FIREBRAND Chiredzi coach Gishon “Gizha” Ntini is wary of a backlash from his former club Caps United when the two sides clash in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League encounter at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.
Ntini expects Makepekepe to come out charging like wounded lions after blowing a golden chance to shoot to the top during the week, courtesy of a controversial midweek loss to Hwange.
United will be doing business at Rufaro as their usual home, the National Sports Stadium, is unavailable for the rest of the month.
Although Ntini has what looks like an insurmountable task of saving bottom-placed Chiredzi FC from the chop, the outspoken gaffer is adamant his team can still lift itself out of the mud.
He has so far picked up four points out of a possible nine since he took over from Moses Chunga in July.
Before his appointment, Chiredzi FC had accumulated a paltry seven points out of 45.
“Playing against my former club is a bit awkward and the fact that Caps are coming from a painful defeat also makes it more trick, but that is the nature of this job.
“I know most people have already ruled us out, but I am a fighter and still believe the mission can be accomplished.
“We are going to play teams that are eyeing the league title and those that are fighting relegation, so it is going to be tough. We need to post shock results if we are to survive and Caps should not be spared,” said Ntini.
Chiredzi FC are languishing at the bottom with 11 points, having won only twice this season.
It is no secret that a poor bank account has contributed to the club’s struggle and a massive player turnover during the mid-season window could worsen the team’s predicament.
“We lost almost 15 players in July and we were only allowed to register 5 new faces. I have a very thin player base and I am praying the few I have do not get injured,” he said.
Caps United beat Chiredzi 2-0 in the reverse encounter and are favourites again in this one, although the absence of key players Tendai Samanja, skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani and newboy Honey Chimutimunzeve, who are all suspended, has left Makepekepe depleted.
Dominic Chungwa should reclaim his starting place upfront alongside Kelvin Bulaji.
Injured centre back David Chipala remains on the sidelines and Mangwiro will retain the pair of Steven Makatuka and Malawian import George Nyirenda.
Caps v Chiredzi (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Hwange (Luveve).