Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
DEFENDING Champions FC Platinum clash with fellow Platinum miners Ngezi Platinum stars in the peak of matchday nine fixtures at Baobab Stadium this Sunday.
While titanic encounters like the Harare derby between CAPS United and Dynamos, as well as the Battle of Zimbabwe featuring Dynamos and Highlanders, have dominated local football for years, the Platinum Derby between FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars is slowly becoming a must-watch encounter.
The two sister clubs have rivalry based on their origin in Platinum mining and ambition which has raised the stakes whenever they meet.
FC Platinum is the most successful of the two having won four successive league titles while Ngezi Platinum see themselves as the heir to the throne.
The two sides go into Sunday’s encounter separated by just a point with Ngezi Platinum in third position with 13 points while FC Platinum are eighth with 12 points.
However, FC Platinum have a psychological advantage having won four of the 10 league matches they have played against Ngezi, while the Mhondoro-based side has two victories with the rest being draws.
Matchday nine begins on Friday as Cranborne Bullets host Green Fuel at the National Sports Stadium after the two sides won their respective matches last weekend and coincidentally collected three points for the first time this season.
Saturday sees unpredictable Herentals hosting an inconsistent Dynamos side at the National Sports Stadium.
Dynamos will be eager to get back to winning ways but it will not be easy against a side they failed to beat in the league last season.
Herentals have a knack for picking up points against big teams, and last season, they stole points from Highlanders, FC Platinum and Dynamos, while this season they have already beaten defending champions FC Platinum.
In other matches, free-scoring Bulawayo Chiefs take on new boys Sheasham at Luveve stadium while in-form Manica Diamonds face Chicken Inn.
Sunday will see Highlanders hosting Simba Bhora at Barbourfields Stadium while rejuvenated CAPS United host Hwange at the National Sports Stadium.
Triangle United battle Yadah in the last match on Sunday before match-day nine action concludes a day later with ZPC Kariba clashing against Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium.