Chiefs' depth put to the test

Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs.
Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images

Do Kaizer Chiefs have enough depth to keep their momentum without a number of their regulars?

This question will only draw answers when Amakhosi host an unpredictable Golden Arrows side at FNB stadium tonight (7.30pm). Going into the encounter, Amakhosi are faced with injury woes.

"We have George [Maluleka] out, definitely not available for [tonight], we have Itumeleng [Khune] out, definitely not available for Tuesday . we have Samir [Nurkovic] out definitely not available," Middendorp disclosed after their 1-0 home victory over Baroka at the weekend.

Khune and Maluleka sustained groin injuries against Baroka, hence they were substituted in the first half, while Nurkovic is still nursing a head gash that forced him off in the first half away to AmaZulu two weeks ago.

To make matters worse, players such as Dumisani Zuma (got a knock at training), Reeve Frosler (injured against Baroka at the weekend) and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya (picked up an injury in the match against AmaZulu) are also doubtful for the Arrows showdown.

"Dumisani Zuma, I don't know, Ntiya-Ntiya I don't know [whether they'll be fit]. We had to take Frosler out in the last six minutes [against Baroka]. That hits us at the moment," said Middendorp.

Amid the glut of injuries, Chiefs are likely to turn to their fringe and MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) troops. Middendorp has already revealed he might field budding utility midfielder Njabulo Blom, 19, against Arrows.

"Njabulo Blom didn't play in our MDC match [against Black Leopards on Saturday], he'll probably be on the field on Tuesday," said the Amakhosi mentor.

"You have to look for a different set-up in our side, you may see some new faces we have not seen this season."

Blom has be an integral part of Chiefs' MDC side for the past three years. The lad from Dobsonville, Soweto, can also play as a centre-back, having proved his versatility at the U-20 World Cup in Poland with Amajita where he played all the side's three games.

Against Steve Komphela's Arrows, Amakhosi aim to make it three out of three as they've won their past two games. Chiefs are top of the table on 16 points after seven games, while Abafana Bes'thende are seventh on the standings.

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