‘IT’S FOR DEMBARE TO LOSE’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

THE colour is blue and a touch of white and it’s writ­ten Dy­namos all over it — smile Glam­our Boys, you are the cham­pi­ons.

At the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond half of the sea­son, I rightly pre­dicted that four teams were go­ing to fight it out for the cham­pi­onship come the end of the marathon.

Now, it’s seven games to go and we are in the fi­nal stretch and so many pre­dic­tions are com­ing up, in­clud­ing one by my col­league Spencer Man­guwa, who said FC Plat­inum were go­ing to be cham­pi­ons, which sent so­cial me­dia ablaze. But, for me, this is a DeMbare race. For starters, let’s do it sim­ple and just as­sume ev­ery­one will con­tinue to per­form as they did in the last 27 games.

That, will give it to Dy­namos by virtue of be­ing on top of the log.

The Glam­our Boys will end up with 71 points, Ngezi Plat­inum and FC Plat­inum both on 67 points and Chicken Inn on 64 points.

An­other way is to look at the top four teams’ re­main­ing games and make the as­sump­tion that they will get the same re­sults as they did in the first half.

This gives Dy­namos a re­sound­ing vic­tory as they got 19 points out of 21, Chicken Inn sec­ond with 14 points out of 21, FC Plat­inum third with 10 out of 21 and Ngezi Plat­inum fourth with nine out of 21.

This gives Dy­namos a highly un­likely end of sea­son to­tal points of 75, Chicken Inn 65, FC Plat­inum 63 and Ngezi Plat­inum 62.

How­ever, the chances for such a sce­nario hap­pen­ing are close to noth­ing though it can­not be ruled out. It’s a pos­si­bil­ity. An­other way is to look at last sea­son’s re­sults for the same re­main­ing games for each club and as­sume they will come out the same this sea­son.

Omit­ting games with teams that gained pro­mo­tion last sea­son, Bantu Rovers and Sha­banie, con­sid­er­a­tion is done on six games each.

Again, de­spite their poor run last sea­son, Dy­namos come tops with 11 points out of 18, Chicken Inn 10, Ngezi Plat­inum 9 and FC Plat­inum 8.

A more plau­si­ble way is to look at re­sults from the past sea­sons and cal­cu­late re­spec­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties for each game for ev­ery club’s re­main­ing fix­tures.

Un­for­tu­nately, ex­tract­ing in­for­ma­tion for such a task, though sup­posed to be sim­ple, has proved to be a big mis­sion. So, I de­cided to omit that in this piece.

We still have to look at cur­rent form and take it into ac­count for the pre­dic­tions.

My pre­dic­tion is that the team that will garner at least 15 points from the re­main­ing games will bag it and, again, the team that’s more likely to do that, is Dy­namos.

Of all the teams in the top four, Dy­namos and Chicken Inn have gone for a seven-game win­ning streak. Ngezi Plat­inum and FC Plat­inum have man­aged five games.

This gives Dy­namos and Chicken Inn an up­per hand in terms of start­ing and sus­tain­ing win­ning games in a row.

The fact that it’s the tail-end and ev­ery game a po­ten­tial banana skin, a team needs coaches and play­ers with char­ac­ter.

Po­ten­tially easy games will turn dif­fi­cult and al­most all teams will have one or more rea­son to fight for points — if not for cham­pi­onship then to avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

All the four teams boast of young coaches who have the en­ergy to con­tinue for at least an­other 15 years and they all still have dreams of ply­ing their trade out­side the coun­try one day.

One can ar­gue that Dy­namos’ Lloyd Mu­tasa falls short, in terms of cham­pi­onship-win­ning ex­pe­ri­ence when com­pared to Chicken Inn’s Rahman Gumbo and FC Plat­inum’s Nor­man Mapeza.

But it is his club’s big name that seems to be car­ry­ing the day for him in some in­stances.

An­other plus has been the big char­ac­ters that Dy­namos have — Ocean Mushure, Lin­coln Zvasiya and Obey Mw­er­a­hari, in Peace Makaha and Tichaona Chipunza, they have young play­ers with big hearts, and in Chris­tian Epoupa Ntouba, they have found a re­li­able gun­slinger.

The same can­not be said for the other three teams ex­cept for Chicken Inn who have Cle­ment Matawu and Oba­diah Tarumbwa who are big char­ac­ters them­selves but fall short on pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship and di­rec­tion.

I agree with Maguwa that Dy­namos’ week­end fix­ture at ZPC Kariba is their most cru­cial.

A win at Nyamhunga and the race will not go to the wire and they will win it with it, at least, with a game to spare.

The plat­inum clubs have his­tory also work­ing against them - no team out­side Harare or Bu­l­awayo has won the cham­pi­onship since in­de­pen­dence.

And, it’s been 50 years since this was last done and there are a rea­son for that.

DeMbare can only trip them­selves oth­er­wise the ti­tle is theirs.

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