The Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League get into week nine this weekend with men being separated from boys as competition for the title continues.
The gap between the true title contenders and pretenders is widening as leaders Chicken Inn are now six points adrift of fourth-placed Bulawayo giants, Highlanders, as the league reaches its ninth game.
Even defending champions, Dynamos, are falling behind as they are now five points behind the leaders following two consecutive defeats to Chicken Inn and lightweights, Whawha Prison.
The Game Cocks have the chance to extend their lead Saturday when they travel to Harare to play unsettled ZPC Kariba, who yesterday fired coach Saul Chaminuka, a day after a 2-1 defeat to Harare City.
The game at Gwanzura Stadium will see Oliver Matava in charge of Katuruturu for the first time and the team is in danger of following on the heels of Harare City, who after a good run in their maiden season in 2013, finished the whole 2014 fighting relegation.
Ironically, Harare City fired coach Bigboy Mawiwi in the same way ZPC Kariba have fired Chaminuka.
Chaminuka, who lives in Kariba, says although the letter he received indicates that he has been suspended for four games.
Chicken Inn, who have 19 points from eight games, are on a roll and coach Joey Antipas reckowns he has built a strong team for the championship this season.
Second-placed Triangle have the chance to keep pace with the leaders as they are expected to steamroll over Whawha.
Although Prison Warders yesterday shocked the football fraternity with their 1-0 win over Dynamos, they are unlikely to put up a strong resistance at Gibbo Stadium where the Sugar Sugar Boys rarely lose a game.
The home team’s supporters will be there to give their team all the support it needs.
Triangle trail leaders, Chicken Inn, by two points.
Dynamos, however, have the toughest task at hand as they host Norman Mapeza’s rejuvenated FC Platinum at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Another loss will be bad for Dynamos’ reputation as they will continue to lose grip on the title they have won for the past four years.
More importantly, it will widen the rift between coach Mandigora and the team’s impatient fans who have always been against Yogi’s appointment.
However, Mandigora says it is still too early to judge his team, adding that every game is hard for Dynamos as all the teams want to win against the Glamour Boys
HIGHLANDERS BACK HOME
Highlanders welcome Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium in a game they are expected to pick up maximum points while Hwange could pick up their first set of maximum points when they play Flame Lilly at the Colliery Stadium in Hwange.
Flame Lilly coach, Nesbert Saruchera, admits that his young side lacks experience but says this is the time to give the youngsters the chance to play Premiership football.
Following their fruitful long trip to Bulawayo last weekend, Caps United are once again on the road when they make the trip to Mutare for a game against Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium.
Despite their financial problems the Green Machine have been consistent on the field of play and English coach Mark Harrison is so far satisfied.
Chapungu host Luke Masomere’s How Mine who were slaughtered 3-0 at FC Platinum.
On Monday, all players called for national duty for the COSAFA Senior Challenge are expected to forget club football and go to camp.
The COSAFA senior Challenge runs from May 17 to May 22.