Further test of Solinas’s ability to revive Kaizer Chiefs in Cape
Kaizer Chiefs’ search for a first Absa Premiership win of the season resumes on Saturday afternoon with a tough away fixture at a buoyant Cape Town City‚ another stern test of Giovanni Solinas’s attempts to revive the ailing giant.
The international break has provided him with some time to work on those players not called away for national team duty‚ and after a helter-skelter start to the season‚ it has been some welcome breathing space.
There will be potential debuts for new signings Lebogang Manyama and Madagascar international “Dax” (Andriamirado Andrianarimanana)‚ with the latter having been cleared this week by Fifa following his protracted move from Fosa Juniors in Madagascar.
It is not clear if the paperwork for new Ugandan left-back Godfrey Walusimbi has come through yet.
Whether Solinas will be tempted to throw any of these players in from the start remains to be seen‚ but just having former City captain and 2016-17 PSL Player of the Season Manyama in the camp will provide the team with great insight into how their hosts will operate.
“Dax and Lebo are very good players and their availability will have a positive impact on the team‚” Chiefs midfielder Siphelele Ntshangase told his club’s website‚ adding that the international break had served the team well.
“We worked a lot on our shape‚ where to be on the pitch at what time in relation to the ball and your opponent. As Kaizer Chiefs we always go for the three points and will do the same on Saturday.
“Playing in Cape Town feels like playing at home. Our supporters always come out in numbers to support us in the Mother City. We are looking forward to the game.”
City are also eager for the match‚ believing that their fast-paced all-action style will put an already fragile Chiefs under more pressure. Controlling the tempo will be key‚ according to City coach Benni McCarthy‚ and if they can take their chances then he is sure of victory. “On a daily basis we work on what is our strength‚ which is that technically our players are very good on the ball. When I came in‚ I could see that technically their ability was there and if you polish it you will get the benefit‚” McCarthy said.
“We are good at playing from the back‚ keeping calm‚ keeping our composure. We practice it every day to get better and perfect it. “Now I feel we have mastered that and we need to move a little bit forward where we have to finish off teams. Finish what we start with the good build-up. Hopefully we do that to Chiefs on Saturday.” Chiefs can point to recent history for some joy in this fixture. They won both league encounters against City last season‚ including a 2-0 victory in Cape Town as Siphiwe Tshabalala and Wiseman Meyiwa‚ the latter on debut‚ netted for Amakhosi.
PSL this weekend
Chippa United v Baroka FC (Sisa Dukashe Stadium‚ 3pm)
Cape Town City v Kaizer Chiefs (Cape Town Stadium‚ 3pm)
Maritzburg United v Bidvest Wits (Harry Gwala Stadium‚ 6pm)
Polokwane City v Free State Stars (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 8.15pm)
Orlando Pirates v SuperSport United (Orlando Stadium‚ 8.15pm)
Black Leopards v Bloemfontein Celtic (Thohoyandou Stadium‚ 3pm)
AmaZulu v Mamelodi Sundowns (King Zwelithini Stadium‚ 3pm)
Highlands Park v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Makhulong Stadium‚ 3pm)