WITH just a third of the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League games left, the clock is ticking for both championship chasing and relegation threatened sides as they gun for maximum points from every outing.
Pressure is mounting for all the teams, those in the top eight of the table who feel they have a chance to nick the championship, and the bottom clubs who are not safe from the drop zone.
Interestingly, seven points separate table toppers FC Platinum who are on 39 points and Ngezi Platinum Stars who occupy number eight on the log.
Seven points separate ninth-placed Chapungu on 29 points and Mushowani Stars who occupy the last relegation slot -position 15.
FC Platinum are inactive this weekend in the domestic league as they compete in the Total Caf Champions League, playing host to UD Songo of Mozambique at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon, which presents either ZPC Kariba or Chicken Inn with an opportunity to shoot to the top of the table.
ZPC Kariba, tied on 39 points with FC Platinum and second on the table due to an inferior goal difference, are at home to resurgent title darkhorses Dynamos at Nyamhunga this afternoon.
DeMbare, who are unbeaten in 10 games, should brace for a difficult outing against the electricity generators who are yet to taste defeat at home this season. ZPC Kariba has won eight of those encounters, drawing three.
The power generators, with reason to believe that they can claim the title, will be hoping to end Dynamos’ charge towards the title, as a victory for DeMbare will power them three-points closer to the table-toppers.
Third on the table Chicken Inn on 38 points will be hoping to complete a brace over Manica Diamonds who they beat 2-0 in the first leg and move up the table.
Had they been consistent, Chicken Inn would be enjoying a healthy lead.
The TelOne versus Ngezi Platinum Stars match completes the PSL fixtures set for today. The two lock horns in Gweru, with TelOne, third from the bottom, likely to move at least three places up the table and get out of the relegation hellhole in the event that they win.
TelOne are on 21 points and a victory by more than a two-goal margin will take their points tally to 24, and move them to position 13 from 16.
Tomorrow, Hwange plays host to Highlanders in a fixture in which both sides want maximum points at all costs to end a barren spell.
Hwange are winless in eight games, having last recorded a victory on July 14 when they handed Chicken Inn a 2-1 defeat at the Colliery Stadium.
On the other hand, Highlanders haven’t won a game in four outings, losing three and drawing 0-0 in their last match against Mushowani Stars.
Mushowani are at home to Chapungu at Trojan Mine Stadium tomorrow.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures
Saturday: TlOne v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Manica Diamonds (Luveve), ZPC Kariba v Dynamos (Nyamhunga)
Sunday Hwange v Highlanders (Colliery), Mushowani Stars v Chapungu (Trojan Mine)
Wednesday, September 18: Harare City v Caps United (Rufaro), Yadah v Bulawayo Chiefs (National Sports Stadium)-Chronicle