Stuart Baxter will not be on the bench when new club Chiefs face Wydad in the Champions League semis

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard will be on the bench in the first leg match of the Caf Champions League semifinal against Wydad Athletic in Casablanca.
Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard will be on the bench in the first leg match of the Caf Champions League semifinal against Wydad Athletic in Casablanca.
Image: Kaizer Chiefs

Returning Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter will not be on the bench when Amakhosi play the first leg of their Caf Champions League semifinal match in Casablanca on Saturday.

Briton Baxter‚ who returned last week for a second stint to replace fired Gavin Hunt‚ is yet to be issued with a work permit.

The Naturena glamour club announced that assistant coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillion Sheppard will instead take charge of the match against Wydad Casablanca at the Stade Mohammed V at 9pm SA time.

Zwane and Sheppard won both matches they took charge of in the last two league matches of the Premiership season after the termination of Hunt’s contract.

“Coach Baxter will‚ however‚ travel with the team to the North African country as the team gets ready for the all-important semifinal game against two-time Caf Champions League winners‚” Chiefs said in a statement on Monday.

Chiefs‚ who are in uncharted territory as it is their first time playing in the knockout stages of the Champions League‚ will be out for a positive result ahead of the second leg match in Johannesburg on June 26.

But they will have to leave everything on the pitch if they are to achieve a favourable result against a rampant Wydad side that has smashed nine goals in their past two matches.

While Chiefs last played a competitive match on June 5 against TS Galaxy in the final round of the DStv Premiership campaign‚ Wydad are in tip-top shape as the Moroccan season approaches the home stretch.

Wydad won 4-2 in midweek and 5-3 on Sunday as they opened a five points' lead at the top with nine matches remaining.

They will welcome Amakhosi high on confidence but Chiefs will draw comfort from the fact that they claimed victory when they clashed with the North Africans in the group stages.

Chiefs were thrashed 4-0 by Wydad in a group stage match played in neutral Burkina Faso in February due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic imposed by Morocco on travellers from SA.

The Glamour Boys got their revenge with a 1-0 home win in the reverse fixture.

The winner of this two-legged semifinal will meet either Al Ahly or Esperance in the final to be played at Wydad’s home ground.