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Chiefs hit by injuries and suspension ahead of season opener against Royal AM

06 August 2022 - 12:28 By SPORTS REPORTER
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Phathutshedzo Nange during training session at Kaizer Chiefs Village on the 04 August 2022.
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Phathutshedzo Nange during training session at Kaizer Chiefs Village on the 04 August 2022.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Three Kaizer Chiefs players will not be available for the Amakhosi’s eagerly anticipated opening match against Royal AM on Saturday night.

Sifiso Hlanti, Sibusiso Mabiliso and Phathutshedzo Nange are not available due to injuries and suspensions, this was revealed by Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane ahead of the season’s opener.

“We have a few injuries and one suspension. Nange is not available for the game (suspension), Hlanti is still not 100% as we know he is coming from a long layoff.

“Mabiliso has a thigh problem and those are the players that are not going to make it on Saturday. We anticipate a great game and we are hoping to grind the results and set the tone as well,” said Zwane.

Chiefs are also looking at signing former Edmilson Dove but he seems to be struggling with injury as well and was being attended to by the team's doctor Mohammed Moosajee.

“Like I have alluded in the past weeks that we are looking to beef up our squad in certain positions and inviting Dove was a case of let’s have a look at him and we will take it from there,” said Zwane.

Asked if he was nervous or feeling pressure ahead of the new season, Zwane said he was enjoying himself. “I have been enjoying myself when I was under pressure with the reserve team.

“There's no rest at Chiefs and all eyes are on you and I have embraced that. It’s part of me and part of my job. If you win or lose, you just have to take the criticism positively because it is part of the game,” he added.

“We have had a very good preseason but it was not easy because we brought in a lot of new players and they needed to settle in very quickly. But the players have responded positively and have shown good signs, eagerness, commitment and dedication at the same time. I think that we are on the right track so far,” said Zwane.

“Last season we played against a very solid Royal AM team. They were more like Bloemfontein Celtic and their coach John Maduka had been with them for some time. There was chemistry in that team and a good tactical approach. They managed to take six points from us.

“They hammered us in our backyard. This time we are playing against a team that we know very well. They have a good technical team in Khabo Zondo, Dan Malesela and Abram Nteo. And also, their new players and their approach will be different.

“We watched a few of their friendly games. They have two big guys upfront in Mxolisi Macupu and Andre de Jong and the two can hold the ball and allow other players to join in on the attack. They play more of a 3-5-2 that can easily change to a 3-4-3 or sometimes 4-4-2 diamond shape,” added Zwane.

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