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WE ARE ready, Kaizer Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung declared yesterday ahead of their opening defence of the MTN8 Cup.
Amakhosi's first hurdle in the Wafa Wafa knockout competition is Bidvest Wits tonight.
The match, which kicks off at 8pm, was shifted from Orlando Stadium to the refurbished Rand Stadium because of the power crisis in Soweto.
Motaung doesnot doubt that the many competitive pre-season matches Chiefs have played have psyched them up for the challenge.
It has been a mixed bag, though, with a loss to Manchester City in the Vodacom Challenge, followed by a win over old rivals Orlando Pirates in the third leg of the tournament in Port Elizabeth.
Chiefs then exacted their revenge from City when they pipped them 1-0 in the final, courtesy of Jeffrey Ntuka's goal.
Amakhosi went on to feature, as usual, in the Telkom Charity Cup, but they failed to lift the trophy defended by Pirates. Bucs defeated Chiefs on penalties (5-4) before doing the same to Platinum Stars (4-2) in the final on Saturday.
"We are geared up to defend the (MTN8) title for the second time in a row. We have signed quality players who are ready to prove their worth against Wits," said a determined Motaung yesterday.
"After featuring in numerous pre-season games, I hope our coach Vladimir Vermezovic is in a good position to assemble a winning team against Wits.
"It will be tough, but we are going into this match as champions and we will play as such."
George Mogotsi, The Clever Boys' manager, said yesterday they were equally prepared to give a good account of themselves against Chiefs.
"Chiefs are a brave team, make no mistake about that, but I have also roped in youngsters with big hearts and they should compete with their opponents.
"We are going there (Rand Stadium) without any fear and are determined to beat Chiefs to book a berth for the next round of this richest competition," Mogotsi said.
Wits's new recruits up front are likely to be frustrated by goalie Itumeleng Khune, who could be hard to beat.
Chiefs are also likely to give Khune's brother Lucky a run, and skipper Tinashe Nengomasha's experience should give Chiefs added impetus in the midfield.
Some of the new players recruited by Wits, suchas Evans Chikwaikwai, Mark Haskins and Ivorian striker N'da Jacques Yoboue, are likely to be given the chance to prove their worth by coach Roger De Sa.
The Students' trump card remains Tebogo Langerman.