Dembare in Diamonds test ahead of tough week

Herbert Maruwa

HARARE giants Dynamos will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on in-form Manica Diamonds in a potentially explosive Castle Lager premier soccer league tie at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.

This is the first of three difficult fixtures that the Glamour Boys will face inside eight days as they play archrivals Highlanders on Thursday and are also scheduled to play Ngezi Platinum Stars, who have had an impressive start to the league season.

Manica Diamonds are enjoying a purple patch having won three of their last four matches to occupy fourth position going into the Week 10 fixtures with 15 points.

Dynamos on the other hand, have flattered to deceive having only won one of their last six matches, a 2-0 victory over CAPS United in the Harare derby three matches ago.

Their last two matches have been goalless draws against Triangle and Herentals.

But Dynamos will be buoyed by the fact that they have never lost to Manica Diamonds, only that they desperately need a win rather than a draw.

Coach Herbert Maruwa is aware of the task ahead and believes his team is ready for the period where their title credentials will be tested.

“We are taking one game at a time. Yes, it's going to be a busy week for us but we are ready. We need to concentrate on the game against Manica which is going to be a tough match. We will need to be at our best to get maximum points,” Maruwa said ahead of today’s match.

The Glamour Boys have struggled to score goals so far this season and have fired blanks in four of their nine matches.

However, the defence has been water tight keeping seven clean sheets in nine matches played so far and have conceded just three goals to boast of the second best defence after Highlanders.

“We did not score in the last two games but I can assure you goals are going to come. We just need to keep working hard at training and make sure we improve the team in attacking areas. Manica Diamonds are doing very well and we expect them to come and play an open game. It's going to be an interesting game,” Maruwa said.

Maruwa also confirmed reports that the team has invited psychologists to work with the players as they did ahead of the Harare derby clash with Caps United which they convincingly won.

Manica Diamonds had a slow start to the season and failed to win a match in their first three encounters of the season and since then they have won four out of six.

Impressive for Manica Diamonds is striker Fortune Binzi, who is the current top scorer in the league with eight goals.

The 24-year-old striker born and raised in Sakubva scooped the April Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) player of the month and will be looking to continue with his goal scoring spree against the country’s most successful club.

Manica Diamonds coach Jairos Tapera is wary of Dynamos’ reputation ahead of the big encounter.

“Dynamos is the biggest team in Zimbabwe. We all know they also have the brightest young coaches at the moment. We will treat them with respect. However, we are in competition, we are in the same league and we also want the same points. We will go there with a positive mind and a positive game plan to get the best result,” he said.

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