Zimbabwe: Pirates, Ngezi in Mash West Derby

All roads in Mashonaland West province lead to Baobab this afternoon as Castle Lager Premier Soccer League debutants Chegutu Pirates "host" reigning champions Ngezi Platinum Stars, in what promises an explosive derby.

Pirates are only the home team on a technicality as they have been sharing Baobab with the champions.

Their home ground -- Pfupajena -- did not pass the test for homologation by the ZIFA First Instance Body.

Both Chegutu and Ngezi have made a reputation for filling the stadium whenever they play their home matches.

It should be the same scenario this afternoon with the blue of Ngezi fighting for dominance against the black and white Pirates.

The Mashonaland West derby has already generated a lot of excitement amongst fans.

Pirates super fan Tonderai "Boys Dzangu" Maunde popular for painting his face and upper body in his team colours is expected to lead Dzinza's legion of supporters.

Ngezi also have several energetic fans to call on to rally behind Takesure Chiragwi's champions. Ngezi are buoyed by their 2-0 win over TelOne at the same venue last Saturday while Pirates will be hoping for a change of fortunes as they seem to be struggling both home and away. The trio of captain Kudzai Chigwida, Marvellous Mukumba, and Gareth Madhake will return for Ngezi after serving suspension for accumulating three yellow cards.

Combative defender and ex-Manica Diamonds player, Talent Chamboko who has become a regular starter for the champions, is hopeful that Ngezi will pick positive results.

"Making it on to match day squad every week means that I am adding value to the team and all I need to do is continue putting in a lot of hard work in my art and skill to help the team defend the title," said Chamboko.

Despite a bad start to their season, Chamboko feels the champions are still in a good position to defend their title.

"Right now we are not entirely happy with where we are and we are pushing to improve with each game.

"We are not in a bad position; we can still defend the title . . . we are a committed lot that is full of optimism.

"Critics may have written us off but we just need to start being consistent because the race is open," he said.

Ngezi are in ninth place with 15 points, four ahead of Pirates who sit on number 15.

Both sides have conceded 11 times so far.

Chamboko urged his teammates not to underestimate the Chegutu-based side whose game is built around their strong defence.

"It will not be an easy game because Pirates are not a pushover so we need to be on high alert at all times and guard against complacency.

"So, there is every reason for us to pay attention to the smallest of details if we are to win. Their defensive unit has been outstanding, restricting opponents from scoring hence we need to create chances as much as we can and try to convert," said Chamboko.

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