Middendorp starts Akpeyi in goals for Kaizer Chiefs against Orlando Pirates

Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Kaizer Chiefs and Polokwane City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 14 September 2019
Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Kaizer Chiefs and Polokwane City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 14 September 2019
Image: ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has kept to his original word by starting Nigeria No 1 Daniel Akpeyi between the posts in the huge Absa Premiership Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Middendorp had said last week that he would bring Akpeyi back for log leaders Chiefs’ league matches – including the derby – with Bafana Bafana No 1 Itumeleng Khune playing in the Nedbank Cup.

Chiefs’ coach had appeared to waiver on Thursday, when he said he had not yet made a decision on his pleasant headache of two international keepers to choose from for the derby now that Khune has returned fully from injury, though Middendorp was probably simply trying to confuse the opposition.

Middendorp will, according to the official team sheet, be playing a 3-5-2 formation with five personnel changes made in the XI from Amakhosi’s penalties Nedbank defeat to Highlands Park at a rain-drenched Makhulong Stadium last weekend.

Kearyn Baccus comes in for Yagan Sasman – apparently to play left wing-back. George Maluleka and Reeve Frosler replace Anthony Akumu and Bernard Parker in midfield.

Leonardo Castro – who has a good scoring record in against Pirates – comes in for Khama Billiat to be fielded up-front alongside fellow striker Samir Nurkovic.

Though, with Middendorp’s penchant for springing surprises, Chiefs could just as well come out in a 4-4-1-1 or 3-4-3 layout.

Chiefs XI (possibly 3-5-2): Daniel Akpeyi – Kgotso Moleko, Erick Mathoho, Daniel Cardoso – Reeve Frosler, Willard Katsande, George Maluleka, Lebogang Manyama, Kearyn Baccus – Leonardo Castro, Samir Nurkovic

Bench: Itumeleng Khune, Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, Yagan Sasman, Anthony Akumu, Bernard Parker, Khama Billiat, Dumisani Zuma

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