Kaizer Chiefs defence: Is a back five the way forward for Amakhosi?

Daniel Cardoso Siyabonga Ngezana Kaizer Chiefs
Its almost been a case of trial and error for the Soweto giants at the back this season with more than 10 playrs used in defence

Looking at Kaizer Chiefs’ matches this season, it's not easy to work out exactly who their first choice line-up in defence is.

To be fair, there have been some injury and suspension issues and Bafana Bafana central defender Eric Mathoho will serve the last of his two-game ban when Amakhosi take on a high flying Swallows FC side at the Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday night's 19:30 kick-off.

Right-back Reeve Frosler is also out injured.

Still, though, Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has used a lot of players in defence already in the seven matches played in the 2020/21 campaign.

These include Mathoho, Frosler, Daniel Cardoso, Kgotso Moleko, Siyabonga Ngezana, Yagan Sasman, Njabulo Blom, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Philani Zulu and Happy Mashiane. That’s 10 defenders. As well as two goalkeepers in Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi.

It can’t be easy for the players to keep lining up alongside different team-mates and for Hunt, who has prided himself on watertight defences at previous clubs Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United, not having a stable back-line will probably be causing him some headaches

However - and somewhat ironically because they conceded two goals - there some positive signs in last weekend’s 2-2 league draw away at Golden Arrows.

It should also be taken into account that the first goal conceded came from a somewhat unfortunate penalty while the second was mainly down to a moment of pure individual brilliance from Arrows substitute Nduduzo Sibiya.

Because otherwise, for the most part, Chiefs were fairly untroubled at the back and Khune actually had relatively little work to do.

That was with Cardoso, Ngezana and Mphahlele forming a back three in the middle, with Zulu playing at left-wing-back and Moleko on the other flank.

Zulu was particularly good at getting forward and contributed to the attack positively on several occasions.

He has had a tendency to get caught out of position in the past, but with an extra central defender, and in some cases a holding midfielder there to cover, its a more workable situation than when he plays in a back four.

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Certainly Amakhosi could do with some more stability at left-back where the likes of Sasman and Mashiane are yet to fully convince this season.

On the other full-back side, Frosler would probably offer more in attack than Moleko, but the latter had a solid enough game against Arrows and will be looking to build on that against Swallows.

It would surely be surprising if Hunt decides to tinker with his defence again for the trip to play his former club in Dobsonville.