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Chiefs coach Komphela wary of energised Free State Stars under Solinas

04 November 2016 - 18:34 By Marc Strydom

Kaizer Chiefs will mostly prepare for the basics and what Giovanni Solinas produced in his past stint at Free State Stars when the two teams meet in Sunday’s Telkom Knockout quarterfinal at Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ said Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela. Stars popular and likeable Italian coach Solinas disappeared mysteriously at the end of a promising first season in 2015-16‚ leaving the club due to family commitments.He has reappeared as seamlessly following the sacking of Frenchman Denis Lavagne in September‚ and Stars have looked threatening again since Solinas’s return.Notably they handed in-form Bidvest Wits their first defeat of the season in the previous round of the Telkom on October 22 at Goble Park - Wits’s cup hoodoo side Stars blasting Gavin Hunt’s team away 3-1 in extra time after normal time ended 0-0.That match is the one game Komphela will have been able to analyse Stars on since Solinas’s return.Ea Lla Koto’s subsequent league draws against Highlands Park away (2-2) and Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday night (1-1) were not televised.Popular Italian Solinas officially back at Free State Stars to replace LavagneItalian coach Giovanni Solinas has officially returned to Free State Stars‚ the Premier Soccer League club announced on their website on Friday. Amakhosi‚ who fired blanks drawing 0-0 in their league game against Baroka FC at Moses Mabhida on Wednesday night‚ beat Free State 2-0 in Orkney in late September‚ but that was when Themba Sithole was still Stars’ caretaker-coach.“With Free State Stars‚ we saw how they play. And then they’ve just changed the coach‚” Komphela said.“Previously you could profile them based on players. Now they’ve got their previous mentor‚ the coach who had worked with them [Solinas].“But their qualities will forever remain. Against Wits‚ they gave one of their notorious qualities – their physique.“And they do have their threats. One thing we pick up is that [centreforward] Moeketsi Sekola‚ based on how Solinas used to play them‚ was their trump card. “They would play long balls and then look to play the second balls off him.“They also have [winger] Danny Venter. We don’t know where they will deploy Paulus Masehe – is he going to play centreback or central midfield?“They’ve got quite a few to watch. When they played against Wits the game went to extra time‚ but they then killed it in no time.“So we need to be very careful – it’s not going to be an easy one.“A good thing is both teams played on Tuesday‚ so recovery is important and how you utilise that time to get players fresh.”Komphela is seeking his first trophy in his second season at Chiefs‚ having lost in the MTN8 and Telkom finals last season...

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