Final game of the year for AmaKhosi before a seven-week break for the 2013 Africa Cup of NationsKaizer Chiefs will be hoping to go into the festive season break top of the Absa premiership as they prepare to host AmaZulu at Soccer City on Tuesday night.
AmaKhosi currently hold a one point lead over Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars, and having led for much the campaign, will be seeking to go into the seven-week break still on top.
Good news from the camp is that striker Bernard Parker should be fit after he hobbled out of the weekend draw with University of Pretoria.
Initial reports had suggested ligament damage and months on the sidelines, but proper investigation has revealed the injury is nowhere near as bad as first thought.
That is a big boost for coach Stuart Baxter, with Parker’s eight league goals this season a major factor in the club’s rise to the top of the table. The coach has now called on his players for one last push in 2012 and says they must not let all the good work that has gone before go to waste.
“There is a lot of work that has been done and credit should go to the players for such a wonderful job,” Baxter says. “If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we will finish the first round in first position I would have probably have laughed at you. We know that there is still a long way to go but this is positive.”
AmaZulu have played to three successive 1-1 draws since the arrival of new coach Craig Rosslee. He has been frustrated by their inability to capitalize on winning positions against Black Leopards, BidVest Wits and Chippa United, but would happily settle for a point away at Chiefs tonight, you would think.
Rosslee was upset by the officiating in the stalemate with Chippa, but says his side must pick themselves up from that disappointment.
"Of course we didn't want another draw but it's been two away games and a tough game against Wits,” Rosslee says. "We hoped to bank a win, but we obviously have to go to Kaizer Chiefs and look for that result."
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chiefs remain unbeaten at home with with six wins and two draws from eight matches.
- AmaZulu has recorded four wins and four losses from their eight away matches so far this season.
- In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and AmaZulu have met in 47 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have traditionally dominated the fixture, claiming 28 wins compared to just seven for Usuthu.
- Chiefs’ home record against the Durban side is even more one-sided: 17 wins from 24 matches and just two defeats.
- When the teams met earlier this season the Soweto side ran riot in a home fixture for Usuthu, racking up a massive 6-0 victory with Parker scoring four goals.