Akpeyi set for Kaizer Chiefs return ahead of Chippa United clash

Daniel Akpeyi, Kaizer Chiefs, September 2019
It remains to be seen who the Amakhosi coach will start in goal following criticism on Itumeleng Khune after their league opener

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has confirmed that Daniel Akpeyi is available for selection for Tuesday’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Chiefs arrived in Port Elizabeth on the backdrop of a 3-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns last Saturday, owing much to a jittery defence and some goalkeeping errors.

Captain Itumeleng Khune drew some criticism after conceding three goals against Sundowns and now faces competition from returning Akpeyi who missed last weekend’s game.

Apart from injury, Akpeyi had travelled to his home country Nigeria to renew his passport, but is now back.

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“Daniel Akpeyi has travelled with the team,” Hunt told the Kaizer Chiefs website.

“The goalkeeper was injured during the bio-bubble matches on 30 August in a match against Wits. He is available for selection after recovering from injury and his passport renewal is also sorted. It is always good to have competition in areas of the team.”

Hunt is keen to guide his side to recover from the Sundowns setback and improve morale in his team ahead of Saturday's MTN8 semi-final showdown against Orlando Pirates.

While Akpeyi is back, Hunt has hinted at fielding a similar team to the one which started against the Brazilians.

“It is a matter of quick recovery on all fronts,” said Hunt.

“We gave the team a break on Sunday and got back on Monday to prepare for tonight. There is actually no time to effect many changes in the team. We pretty much travelled with the same squad that was in camp for the Sundowns game.

“We reviewed the Sundowns game and saw where we went wrong. As I mentioned, Chippa will bring a different dimension to the match. They will have their confidence high after opening with a draw away to Cape Town City.

“We will have to lift our game and try to dominate them from the first whistle. It is the second game of the season and it will not be easy to judge and make up how teams are set up at this stage.”

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Hunt is aware of what awaits his side in Port Elizabeth after Chippa frustrated Cape Town City in a 1-1 draw in their opening match.

“The match is going to be tough for both teams,” Hunt said.

“We are continuing to get the team at the right point. It will take a matter of practice and more games before we get to where we want to be.”