Cape Town - Chippa United have an opportunity to return to winning ways when they host Bidvest Wits at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday.
However, the big challenge for coach Roger Sikhakhane will be to compose his squad after what has been a most eventful week in Port Elizabeth. The big news during the past week was the acquisition of former Mamelodi Sundowns forward Edward Manqele, who will spend the next three seasons in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The one complication for Chippa United is that Manqele has not been active for a protracted period and the race appeared to be on to get him fit and ready to compete against Wits on Wednesday. Indications are that there is an intention to select him for this week’s Premiership fixture but the jury is out on how prominently he will feature in that match, if at all.
The other complication which Chippa United have encountered during the past week was the death of star performer Mpho Mvelase’s father.
The midfielder, who has played in eight of the club’s matches this season, was given time to take care of family matters but there is no clarity on whether he will be available for selection this week.
The other big news for the club was that Putco Mafani joined the club’s management team on Monday this week. Whether that will have an impact on the team’s performance on Wednesday is debatable but there is a clear statement of intent from the club - that it plans to build on the platform it has created for itself during the early stages of the season.
The desire to succeed has been fuelled by the recent developments, especially as the club currently occupies the eighth position on the league standings and they have not been defeated in their last five league matches.
It is often said that Port Elizabeth is the windy city, well Wits can expect a Chippa Storm this week. Wits coach Gavin Hunt has consistently highlighted his concerns about the strike force that he has at his disposal this season but seldom is the case of
At this juncture the real question centres around the team’s ability to bounce back from what was a devastating defeat against Polokwane City in front of expectant home fans.