Chiefs bank on Manyama
Seventh-placed Kaizer Chiefs could end up losing their place in the top eight at the end of the season, at the rate they continue to drop points.
On Tuesday, Chiefs squandered yet another chance to reach a 40-point tally after playing to a 1-1 draw against Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium.
Chiefs have dropped nine points in their past four league outings, with three draws and one defeat. This situation has seen them holding on the seventh spot for a while now.
On a cold Joburg evening, Arrows winger Nduduzo Sibiya's 34th minute strike broke the deadlock at a near-empty FNB. Amakhosi defender Kgotso Moleko struck late in the game to ensure the share of the spoils.
At the moment, Chiefs' 42 points in the 2006/07 season, under the same man who's in charge today, Ernst Middendorp, remains their worst points tally in a season. Last season, the Soweto heavyweights garnered 48 points, finishing third.
With only three matches to spare, Amakhosi are on 38 points and the maximum number of points they can achieve is 47. But, by the look of things, it's highly unlikely that they can win all their last three matches, even though they are against struggling opponents - Bloemfontein Celtic, Free State Stars and Chippa United.
Many have perceived Chiefs to be somehow complacent in the league amid their resurgence in the Nedbank Cup, where they'll meet second-tier league's TS Galaxy in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, on May 18.
Middendorp sounded hopeful that the imminent return of attacker Lebogang Manyama would guarantee them a strong finish.
"Manyama is the most qualified player in terms of knowing exactly where he has to be, in terms of decision-making, passing and finishing.
He'll probably come back and have some minutes against Free State Stars in two weeks time."
"It's disappointing that we still have to wait. We were already on a good trail similar to Joseph Molangoane [who made his first appearance against Arrows since that horrific injury against Stars in August last year], but he [Manyama] got a Grade one muscle issue. He'll definitely not feature against Celtic on Saturday," said Middendorp