It’s a Caf Champions League preview special on the African Football HQ podcast this week, as the team welcome in guests Sandile Ndumo and Austin Ditlhobolo to discuss Kaizer Chiefs vs Al-Ahly.
One of the big talking points ahead of the match is the potential return of Khama Billiat, who has been out of action for three months.
The club announced last week that ‘everybody is available’ for Saturday’s final against Ahly at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, raising hope that Billiat could feature.
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His return could herald the end of a miserable, injury-blighted season in which he missed the first quarter of the year after fracturing a bone in his leg.
Upon his return in April, he aggravated his injury, and was absent as Chiefs advanced to the Champions League semi-final before dispatching Wydad Casablanca to reach the final.
He was badly missed in the PSL, where Chiefs limped to a miserable eighth-placed finish, before parting ways with coach Gavin Hunt following his inability to get the best out of his squad.
Billiat—whose contract ends later this month—could make a startling return for Chiefs in Saturday’s final against the Egyptian giants after the club confirmed that there were no injured players.
The Zimbabwean is one of several players whose contract was extended for one month in order to play in the Champions League final after his original deal ended in June, with the likes of Bernard Parker, Itumeleng Khune and Willard Katsande some of the others in the same situation.
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While there will certainly be questions about Billiat’s fitness and sharpness following his long spell on the sidelines, Arthur Zwane will be acutely aware of the forward’s experience in winning this competition—having conquered the continent alongside Pitso Mosimane with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.
“We are 90 minutes away from the biggest trophy any club in Africa would want to have,” he told Chiefs media. “We are still down to earth, we are still maintaining our professionalism and want to do the best way the coach wants us to do.
“We didn’t see this coming but to be where we are right now, me being part of it and being in the final again I give credit to God. Everything happens for a reason,” he continued.
Billiat’s future has also come in for scrutiny, with the forward reportedly linked with a move to Ahly to reunite with Mosimane at the end of the campaign.
"I am in the right place at the right time and surrounded by the right people, right management and I am in the right club,” he continued—appearing to dismiss rumours.
“I have had this journey before and I know how difficult it is. I know how great the feeling can be at the end, so it’s a movie that has happened before.
"I’m glad to be where I am right now and I’m looking forward to going all the way with the team and creating great memories again with this great club.”