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Kaizer Chiefs – Highlands Park Preview: Amakhosi cautious of Highlands attacking threat

17:29 SAST 2017/02/17
Steve Komphela of Kaizer Chiefs
The high-flying Amakhosi welcomes the Lions of the North, eager to maintain their cushion in the title run-in

Kaizer Chiefs will play their last home game of the season at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium when they come up against hosts, the struggling Highlands Park on Saturday.

They are on course for a five match winning run after winning their last four that propelled them into the top three, three points off the current joint-leaders Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City.

They can end the weekend in top spot provided their crosstown rivals Orlando Pirates beat City in Cape Town later on in the day.

Coach Steve Komphela is aware that they face a potential banana skin who managed to hold Wits and Bucs to 2-2 draws at home this season.

“We watched them play recently and it’s quite clear what Gordon (Igesund) is doing. Their position on the log table makes this game more difficult. They are fighting for their lives. They pose a big threat up-front and out wide when they go forward,” Komphela told the Daily Sun.

The former Free State Stars and Maritzburg United coach concedes that they will be ready for whatever the Tembisa side throws at them.

“If you don’t deal with that you will have problems. Where they are on the table is not a true reflection of who they are. They will throw everything at us, but we will be ready,” Komphela said.

They will be without defender Eric Mathoho through suspension, but have able cover for him in Daniel Cardoso or the forgotten Siyanda Xulu.

The start of the second half of the season was certainly not what Igesund had envisaged as they went down 3-0 on their return against City and surrendered a 1-0 lead to draw with Polokwane City at home last Sunday.

They are fighting for their lives in second from bottom with only two league wins from 17 games, and Igesund is aware of the task they have against the Glamour Boys.

“We played in patches. Chiefs are a good side. I watched their last game (against Maritzburg United) and they were really good. It’s going to be tough,” Igesund said according to the Independent.

They come up against an Amakhosi side, who is the league’s third highest scorers while they boast the worst defensive record with 33 goals conceded to date.

A plus factor is that they head into the clash with no suspensions and a rather clean bill of health as they seek to bring the Glamour Boys down to earth and avenge the 1-0 defeat suffered earlier in the season in Tembisa.

The return of Namibian striker Peter Shalulile, who scored against Polokwane is what they will bank on, while Mothobi Mvala’s presence in midfield will be crucial to stamp out George Maluleka and Willard Katsande from pulling the strings for their side from the middle.

They will not have it easy either because they will have to stop a certain Siphiwe Tshabalala from initiating attacking moves or scoring goals with his late runs into the box, and while at it, keep an eye on Bernard Parker who pounces on leaky defences like theirs.