Absa Premiership

Limping Chiefs on the back foot

2017-10-15 06:03
Kaizer Chiefs logo (File)

Johannesburg - While many think Kaizer Chiefs’ next two games could seal Steve Komphela’s future with the club, the opposite could be true.

The two games against Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates could launch Chiefs’ season, as victories would go a long way, not only in saving Komphela’s job, but in getting their league campaign back on track.

Out injured

Arguably the biggest game of the week is on Tuesday at Loftus, where Mamelodi Sundowns welcome out-of-sorts Chiefs.

Clashes between these two sides have always produced entertaining football and the likes of Percy Tau and fit-again Khama Billiat will be out to torment Chiefs’ rearguard of Eric Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso.

Chiefs will be without five defenders and a striker who are out injured.

The latest to join the long casualty list is Kgotso Moleko, who was stretchered off in the Macufe Cup last weekend. He joins Gustavo Páez, Tsepo Masilela, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Teenage Hadebe and Lorenzo Gordinho on the sidelines.

Elsewhere, one of two things can happen when two unbeaten clubs meet. Either one loses or the status quo remains.

This will be the situation at the Peter Mokaba stadium on Wednesday, when top of the log Baroka FC face off against second-placed Golden Arrows in a battle of the only unbeaten sides in the league so far.

Last line of defence

Baroka’s near relegation experience last season seems to have jolted them and given them a new lease of lifestarting the season on the front foot.

They have been impressive so far in the campaign and are not on top of the log by chance.

The arrival of former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Doctor Khumalo as a technical director has coincided with their good fortunes.

It is, however, too soon to apportion any credit to him.

It is the arrival of goalkeeper Virgil Vries, which has given them the much needed stability in the last line of defence, which was their weakest link last season.

Gift Motupa has given them options going forward. The midfielder has already contributed four goals.

But Arrows are not pushovers, having shown they are in it to compete. After winning the coach of the month award, Clinton Larsen will be hoping it is not a bad omenashe seeks to maintain Arrows’ unbeaten run.

Larsen has the likes of Lerato Lamola and Kudakwashe Mahachi to turn to for positive results.

Positive results

Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates will once again have the opportunity to feel the FNB Stadium pitch under their boots, ahead of the Soweto derby, when they host struggling Platinum Stars at this World Cup venue on Wednesday evening.

Bottom of the log Stars are still looking for their first win of the season and coach Roger De Sá will be hoping to find that elusive victory.

After dropping two crucial points against Pirates at home, Polokwane City will be hoping their back-to-back games in KwaZulu-Natal against AmaZulu and Golden Arrows will get them positive results.

They start with Usuthu on Wednesday and lie in wait for Arrows at the weekend.

There will be battles of Western Cape and Free State clubs when, fresh from the MTN8 final, Cape Town City welcome Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday, while Ajax Cape Town visit improving Free State Stars on Wednesday.

Teboho Moloi, who is searching for his first win since joining Chippa United last month, will face Fadlu Davids’ Maritzburg United at home.

Moloi will be hoping for a better outing, after four consecutive draws.

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Fixtures
Friday, 01 June 2018
Baroka FC v Polokwane City, Peter Mokaba Stadium 00:00
Saturday, 04 August 2018
Mamelodi Sundowns v Kaizer Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v Kaizer Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:00
Wits v Free State Stars, Bidvest Stadium 18:00
Wits v Free State Stars, Bidvest Stadium 18:00
Cape Town City v SuperSport United, Cape Town Stadium 18:00
Cape Town City FC v SuperSport United, Cape Town Stadium 18:00
Black Leopards v Polokwane City, Peter Mokaba Stadium 18:00
Black Leopards v Polokwane City, Thohoyandou Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu FC v Baroka FC, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
AmaZulu v Baroka FC, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 05 August 2018
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Dr Molemela Stadium 15:00
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Dr. Molemela Stadium 15:00
Maritzburg United v Golden Arrows, Harry Gwala Stadium 15:00
Maritzburg United v Golden Arrows, Harry Gwala Stadium 15:00
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