Chiefs back on their feet
KAIZER Chiefs have recovered from the Nedbank Cup exit courtesy of Free State Stars and are anxious to intensify their challenge for the Absa Premiership challenge at the expense of Maritzburg United.
Amakhosi resume their league campaign with a home fixture against the Team of Choice at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane tonight.
The sides played to a goalless draw in the first round at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on November 1. Amakhosi are bruised after their 1-0 Cup defeat and it remains to be seen how they will handle themselves against United who are mentored by their former coach Ernst Middendorp. United travel to Polokwane smarting from their own Cup exit after they were defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in Pretoria, also on Saturday.
"We decided to stay over in Polokwane after Saturday's game to regroup properly," said Chiefs general manager Bobby Motaung yesterday. "The problem is that last week was hectic for us as we were dealing with the departure of coach (Vladimir Vermezovic) and also preparing for the cup game.
"Ace Khuse, Doctor Khumalo and Arthur Zwane had only two days to prepare for the game. The loss was painful but we are back on our feet.
"I believe we will win (tonight) because we all know what a defeat will do to our title hopes. We are still confident of winning the league title."
Middendorp is more worried about his charges' failure to deal with set pieces. "We need to stop this nonsense of donating goals, it is unacceptable if you consider what happened in the game against Sundowns," said the German trainer. "We need to remain tight at the back. Chiefs are a tough side but we need to start getting results."
In his last match against Chiefs at this Polokwane venue, Middendorp was fired by Lamontville Golden Arrows despite their 2-1 success over Amakhosi on September 28. The home side's caretaker coaches will look to the likes of Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kaizer Motaung Jnr to win. Defender Wayne Matle will lead the visitors' rearguard against his former club.
United have two other deadly strikers in Diyo Sibisi and Prince Olomu.
l Kickoff is at 7.30pm.