Chiefs coach Middendorp considers starting Ntshangase against Zesco

Veteran midfielder Willard Katsande's benching in their last league match was just a precaution, their coach says.
Veteran midfielder Willard Katsande's benching in their last league match was just a precaution, their coach says.
Image: VELI NHLAPO

Willard Katsande is back from injury and will start for Kaizer Chiefs in first leg of their Caf Confederation Cup second round tie against Zesco United in Ndola‚ Zambia on Sunday.

Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp said Katsande was available for his team’s 2-0 win against Absa Premiership leaders Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday night‚ but was held back as a precaution.

Amakhosi’s dependable defensive midfielder had gone off injured with a shoulder injury after scoring in Amakhosi’s 2-1 league defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

He played that game as a centreback.

“Katsande is definitely available for Sunday‚” Middendorp said.

“But you know‚ if you come out of a game like he did [against Sundowns] and you think two or three days later everything is fine … .

“He wanted to play [against Wits] but we have a responsibility with the medical department really to say‚ ‘Keep him out – wait for Sunday’. And he is starting [against Zesco].”

Middendorp said that‚ after bruising games against Sundowns and Wits‚ he will introduce fresh faces against Zesco‚ who Chiefs need to beat over the two legs to qualify for the group stage.

Chiefs’ coach said Amakhosi need a calm approach in the first leg at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

“Not to rush‚ not to panic. It will be a hectic game too‚ going to Zambia – there is no doubt about it‚” he said.

“We will start this game with two or three fresh players. Katsande‚ for example‚ definitely will be in.

“Dax can be an option. Siphelele Ntshangase is waiting – he had a good game against Werder Bremen on Sunday.”

Apart from Ntshangase and Dax‚ wingers Kabelo Mahlasela and Dumisani Zuma also impressed in Sunday’s closed-doors friendly against winter touring Bundesliga side Werder Bremen at FNB Stadium‚ and might be considered for a role against Zesco.

Chiefs reached the second round with wins against Zanzibar’s Zimamoto (5-2 on aggregate) and Elgeco Plus of Madagascar (6-0).

Zesco came into the Confed as losers in the 2018-19 Caf Champions League first round against Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe (2-1).

The Zambian club were losing 2016 Champions League semifinalists against eventual winners Mamelodi Sundowns.

Caf Champions League

Friday:

Lobi Stars (Nigeria) v Mamelodi Sundowns (Aper Aku Stadium‚ Makurdi‚ 6pm)

Saturday:

FC Platinum (Zimbabwe) v Orlando Pirates (Barbourfields Stadium‚ Bulawayo‚ 3pm)

Caf Confederation Cup -

Sunday:

Zesco United (Zambia) v Kaizer Chiefs (Levy Mwanawasa Stadium‚ Ndola‚ 3pm)

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