Middendorp brings back heavy artillery in Kaizer Chiefs' derby XI
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has recalled goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to the starting line-up for the crunch Soweto derby Absa Premiership clash against bitter rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Middendorp started Chiefs’ midweek 2-0 win over Chippa United in Port Elizabeth with Bruce Bvuma to save Akpeyi from collecting the fourth yellow card which could have ruled him out of this match.
The coach had rested several players in the match on Wednesday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
In the defence‚ the German mentor has gone with the back four of Yagan Sasman‚ Erick Mathoho‚ Daniel Cardoso and Reeve Frosler‚ who will be tasked with keeping Gabadinho Mhango and Thembinkosi Lorch at bay.
His midfield will be marshaled by Willard Katsande‚ George Maluleka‚ Lebogang Manyama and Khama Billiat while Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurkovic will lead his attack.
Chiefs go into this match riding the crest of a wave having won their last five league matches against AmaZulu‚ Baroka FC‚ Golden Arrows‚ Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United.
During this hot five-match winning streak‚ revived Amakhosi have scored an impressive nine goals without conceding and they have opened a seven-point lead over second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the PSL standings.
If Chiefs manage to beat the Buccaneers for the second time in a week‚ they will open a 10-point lead given the fact that Sundowns will only return to action on Sunday against Golden Arrows in Durban.
For Pirates‚ who have only managed one victory‚ two draws and two losses in their last five matches‚ victory will see them jump from position nine to fourth on the log standings with 16 points.
Kaizer Chiefs: (probable 4-3-3) Daniel Akpeyi – Yagan Sasman‚ Daniel Cardoso‚ Erick Mathoho‚ Reeve Frosler – Willard Katsande‚ George Maluleka‚ Lebogang Manyama – Khama Billiat‚ Samir Nurkovic‚ Leonardo Castro
Substitutes: Bruce Bvuma‚ Bernard Parker‚ Dumisani Zuma‚ Lazarous Kambole‚ Emmanuel Ntiya-Ntiya‚ Siyabonga Ngezana‚ Njabulo Blom.