FOR the first time in a long time, the big Harare Derby will have huge impact.
It is for contrasting reasons between both teams, but good enough reasons to shape up a real blockbuster on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.
Dynamos and CAPS United renew their rivalry in what promises to be a thriller, but at the same time could prove the end for beleaguered Glamour Boys coach Herbert Maruwa.
The two Harare giants clash in what is this weekend’s headline fixture at the Nationals Sports Stadium in the capital.
Both sides have had conflicting fortunes in the early rounds of the season and, on paper, it looks like the green half of the capital city might well prevail.
That the two giants come into the famous Harare Derby against this background makes it a highly anticipated encounter, a departure from the bore that fans were subjected to in the last few seasons.
The magic and significance of this iconic clash was now lost, buried beneath archival records.
Sunday, thankfully, is a big one.
DeMbare head into it under serious pressure from their ever hard-to-please fans. Maruwa’s men have had an indifferent start to the season, winning only two of their opening five matches to sit in 7th position.
Last Sunday’s morale-sapping 3-2 loss to Bulawayo Chiefs has amplified the pressure on Maruwa, who has barely settled into the job following his appointment at the beginning of the season to replace Tonderai Ndiraya.
Stung by the Chiefs defeat last weekend, the blue army is baying for the coach’s blood already.
Defeat to United, their sworn city foes, might prove the final straw. A win will buy time for the under-fire Dynamos gaffer, and at best rebuild the fans’ trust after the early underwhelming performances.
Easier said than done, though, against a CAPS side with a sense of momentum following a promising start to the season, which has seen them being spoken of as early title favourites.
Lloyd Chitembwe’s side sit on top of the table with 12 points – undefeated with three wins and three draws.
They are building their season on a solid defence that has only been breached once, in an entertaining 1-1 draw with champions FC Platinum in a game that many observers felt Makepekepe ought to have won.
In earnest, Chitembwe’s charges have been fluid in almost all departments and, if they can maintain this kind of form, they indeed will have a strong say in the destination of the championship.
For Dynamos, it is a game that will most likely shape big decisions going forward.
Fans have seemingly rekindled their love with the local game – a humdinger should be in-store for the football-loving public.