Middendorp will not tinker as Kaizer Chiefs turn to Caf Confederation Cup

Kaizer Chiefs' German coach Ernst Middendorp looks on from the touchline during a 1-0 Absa Premiership win over SuperSport United at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, on December 12 2018.
Kaizer Chiefs' German coach Ernst Middendorp looks on from the touchline during a 1-0 Absa Premiership win over SuperSport United at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, on December 12 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

New Kaizer Chiefs boss Ernst Middendorp is looking for consistency from his side and therefore will not be tinkering too much with his team for Saturday’s Caf Confederation Cup tie against Malagasy opponents Elgeco Plus.

Middendorp said he would try to play again with as many of the players who featured in his maiden game back in charge of Amakhosi on Wednesday when they beat SuperSport United 1-0 in the Absa Premiership at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

“Obviously we will have to take stock of the knocks from Wednesday. Philani Zulu‚ for example‚ was cramping at the end of the game but I want to stick as much as I can with the players from Wednesday‚” he told TimesLIVE ahead of Saturday’s second round‚ first leg tie at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

“I ordinarily don’t like this chopping and changing of teams and putting a whole new side in. We are in the middle of the season and we should really go for it with the team that we have now put together.”

Middendorp has 24 registered players for Saturday’s game and will have to make at least one change because fullback Kgotso Moleko was not registered by Chiefs for the first three rounds of the competition.

But since the injury suffered by regular right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele and his subsequently and lengthy layoff‚ it is a decision that could backfire on Chiefs.

“That’s a real pity. I liked him [Moleko] from the first day I saw him‚” Middendorp said.

“I hadn’t really noticed him before and he’s a player with huge potential. We have to find a solution. [Daniel] Cardoso can maybe can play there or one of the other centrebacks.”

Under previous coach Giovanni Solinas‚ Chiefs rested the majority of their regulars for the first round tie against Zimamoto of Zanzibar‚ which AmaKhosi won 5-2 on aggregate.

Continental football this weekend -

Caf Champions League

Saturday:

Orlando Pirates v African Stars (Orlando Stadium‚ 6pm)

Sunday:

Al Ahli Benghazi v Mamelodi Sundowns (Petro Sport Stadium‚ Cairo‚ 5pm)

Caf Confederation Cup

Saturday:

Kaizer Chiefs v ASSM Elgeco Plus (Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ 8.15pm)

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