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Kaizer Chiefs v ZESCO United

COMMENT: Kaizer Chiefs can upstage Zesco United and qualify for Caf Confederation Cup group stages

14:22 GMT 19/01/2019
Ernst Middendorp Kaizer Chiefs December 2018
Chiefs are 90 minutes away from either crashing out or qualifying for the group stages of the 2018/19 Caf Confederation Cup, but will they beat Zesco?

A 2-0 win over Zesco United is all that Kaizer Chiefs need to advance to the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup. 

While this encounter will certainly be difficult for both sides, especially Amakhosi, who have to win at all costs, Ernst Middendorp's men can dream and make it happen. 

Chiefs have not qualified for the group stages before, while Zesco are one of the strongest teams with a pedigree in continental competitions. 

Zesco have a point to prove after crashing out of the Caf Champions League, but for Chiefs, this is undoubtedly their biggest match of 2019. 

Should they upset the odds and qualify, Chiefs would join rivals Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns in the group stages of their respective inter-club competitions. 

But will Chiefs pull it off in front of their home fans? Yes, they can, but they will have to bring their A-game in order to upstage the Zambian outfit. 

The first leg saw Chiefs go down 3-1 in Ndola, but the away goal which was scored by Khama Billiat could prove vital in the second leg. 

Chiefs appear to have regained their mojo under Middendorp, who has instilled discipline and confidence in the players. 

A season which at some stage was going in the wrong direction is now heading towards the right one, thanks to the Amakhosi management for pulling the plug on Giovanni Solinas' project. 

There's a breath of fresh air among the players, and everyone wants to make things right with the fans, who have been on their case in the past three-and-a-half years. 

Chiefs have a good home record in this season's campaign having won all their home games.

Zesco on the other hand, are not good travelers - they lost their away match to TP Mazembe before drawing 1-1 with the DR Congo giants in the return leg. 

Amakhosi can expect Zesco to defend too deep and protect their lead, and they should use that to their advantage and attack from the start to finish. 

While the attacking approach is the only thing that Chiefs need to overturn the deficit, and they should also guard against complacency and ensure that they shut the back door because if Zesco score first, then it will be extremely difficult for them to come back. 

It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that the teams win, from the bench, on the pitch, to the stands. 

The support that other African teams enjoy in Caf matches is one of the reasons those teams continue to thrive on the continent.