THIS afternoon’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League battles across the country will determine pacesetters going into round 11 as Highlanders stalk troubled Triangle at Gibbo and champions Dynamos step into the Colliery cauldron against Hwange.
The competition has been stiff this season with the top spot changing hands week in week out in the first 10 matches. Dark horses How Mine went atop on Thursday with a 2-1 win over Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium.
But the lead might just be short-lived as the gold miners, who claim the top spot for the second time this season, are ahead of Highlanders by just a point leading with 21 points from 10 games.
Highlanders with 20 points are only a point ahead of Hwange and Dynamos, who have garnered 19 points apiece.
The Bulawayo giants, although yet to lose a match in 10 games, are coming from a 1-1 home draw against FC Platinum in an unconvincing display at Barbourfields Stadium last Sunday.
They came back from behind and head coach Kelvin Kaindu is likely to go on another reshuffling exercise this afternoon to put up a strong squad against Triangle who have only won one match at home, with the second win registered away to Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium.
Triangle last won at home on April 13 when they beat Chiredzi 3-1 in the Lowveld derby with Lameck Nhamo notching a hat-trick.
Their last matches were two massive defeats, 0-4 to FC Platinum and 1-5 to ZPC Kariba and coach Biggie Zuze would be hard-pressed for a home win against Highlanders this afternoon after the 0-1 loss to Dynamos in Harare last Sunday.
Struggling Triangle are on position 14 on the log table with a mere eight points from two wins and two draws, having lost six times.
But Highlanders could be making wholesome changes especially on right-back.
Simon Munawa has been finding it difficult on that flank while midfielder Welcome Ndiweni could see himself in the starting line-up. Milton Ncube and Charles Sibanda had a bad day last Sunday, although the latter found the equaliser.
Upfront, Bosso will have Ozias Zibande, Knox Mutizwa, Gabriel Nyoni and Cleopas Dube with attacking midfielder Kudakwashe Mahachi providing the tonic.
At the Colliery, still lingering in Dynamos’ head coach Kalisto Pasuwa is the memory of the 2-4 defeat to Hwange in October last year and the Glamour Boys will definitely be on a revenge mission.
Last week Dynamos scrapped a 1-0 win against Triangle at the National Sports Stadium through a goal by midfielder Tichaona Mabvura and sit on position four on the log table, just two points behind leaders How Mine.
After Hwange, they will host Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium next Sunday.
The Nation Dube-coached Hwange were last week held to a 1-1 draw by Chiredzi FC at Chishamiso Stadium and the man to watch would be none other than Warriors right-back Erick Chipeta, who is probably playing his last match for Chipangano before heading to Chippa United in South Africa in the next few weeks.
Today: Caps United v Shabanie Mine (NSS, SS9),
Hwange v Dynamos (Colliery),
Triangle v Highlanders (Gibbo)