Absa Premiership

Chiefs face tough friendly

2015-01-14 10:13
Kaizer Chiefs (File)

Johannesburg - Director of football at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Alexander Rosen, has promised a full-strength team ahead of their friendly meeting with Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Friday evening.

READ: No approach for Manyisa.

Hoffenheim are in the country for a mid-season training camp before the German Budesliga resumes on January 30.

“All of our top players will play,” Rosen said on Tuesday.

“We have two players who are current German national players - the team of the world champions - Kevin Volland and Sebastian Rudy.

“We’ve also got a Brazilian international who made his debut about six or eight weeks ago for the Brazilian national team, Roberto Firmino.”

Currently seventh in Germany’s top league, Hoffenheim will continue their bid for a top four finish at the end of the German season in order to qualify for a place in the UEFA Champions League - a massive achievement for a team that almost got relegated in 2013.

“We have only been at the highest level (league) for seven years. A lot of things have gone right in the last two years,” Rosen added.

Quizzed about why the club decided to travel to South Africa, Rosen said the management wanted to do "something special".

“Usually the training camps of the German teams are in Turkey or Spain or Portugal, which is not so far to travel. We wanted a training camp at a top level.

“The second thing, which is very important, it’s not only the infrastructure, the conditions and the climate, but it’s also important to find good tests. For us, the upcoming game is the top game of our pre-season. We take it very seriously.”

Hoffenheim also have strong links with Chiefs.

Former Amakhosi striker Knowledge Musona was snapped up by the German club in 2011 and returned to Chiefs on loan two years later.

Chiefs tried to keep the player on a permanent basis, after Musona failed to secure a regular starting role in Germany, but the Zimbabwean wanted to remain in Europe.

At the start of January, Musona was sold to Belgian outfit KV Oostende, where he joined Bafana Bafana star Andile Jali, ending Chiefs’ hopes of re-signing the talented attacker.

Meanwhile, Itumeleng Khune is expected to play his first game in more than four months after recovering from an injured foot at the end of August last year.

David Zulu, who joined Chiefs from Chippa United at the start of the week, is also expected to play.

Read more on:    hoffenheim  |  kaizer chiefs  |  soccer


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