SA's Dino Ndlovu ready to prove his worth against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

11 September 2017 - 12:42 By Nick Said
 Alvaro Morata of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Marcos Alonso of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea at The King Power Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Leicester, England.
Alvaro Morata of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Marcos Alonso of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea at The King Power Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Leicester, England.
Image: GETTY IMAGES

A long held criticism of striker Dino Ndlovu from many South African fans is that his goals rush in the last few seasons have come in weak leagues and is therefore not a good indicator of his talent‚ but he will get a chance to dispel that with arguably the biggest game of his career.

Ndlovu has netted 38 goals in 61 starts for Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta and Azerbaijani outfit Qarabag since the start of the 2015/16 campaign‚ including five in eight in this season to date.

He takes that form into a UEFA Champions League meeting with English giants Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday‚ when he is likely to lead the line against one of the best defences in Europe.

What the above statistics do not show either is the number of assists he has been involved in with his bustling style providing a headache for opponents.

What his detractors love to forget is that he has already netted away goals against Italian side Fiorentina‚ Romanian champions Sheriff and top Danish outfit FC Copenhagen‚ the latter proving crucial in getting Qarabag into the group stages of the Champions League.

In fact‚ he is joint second on the list of Champions League scorers this season with four in six games‚ further evidence that he is no ‘flat track bully’.

Ndlovu is South Africa’s only representative in the Champions League this season – Rivaldo Coetzee’s failed move to Glasgow Celtic assured that.

And he could also be the country’s last participant in European club football in 2017/18 as a number of potentials did not crack the nod for their teams' squad.

Lebogang Manyama joined Turkish side Konyaspor too late to be included in his new club’s squad for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

He could be included for the knockout rounds early next year if they get out of a pool that also includes Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg‚ French Ligue 1 outfit Marseille and Bongani Zungu’s old club Vitoria Guimaraes.

Vitoria also have Thibang Phete and Haashim Domingo on their books‚ but did not include the duo in their Europa League squad.

That was also the case for Luther Singh‚ who was not selected by Portuguese side Sporting Braga to play in the competition. - TimesLIVE

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