Cameroon international striker Halidou Malam will make his debut for Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday afternoon's Castle Premiership fixture against this season's surprise package, second-placed Classic, at the Johannesburg Stadium (3pm).

"I'm really pleased with the way the squad is progressing and look forward to Malam making his first appearance for Chiefs. I know he is going to be a big hit with the club. He is a forceful striker who knows the direct route to the back of the net," said Amakhosi coach Muhsin Ertugral.

Out of the line-up will be Democratic Republic of Congo striker Emeka Mamale who is ill suffering from fatigue. "Mamale will be rested for two weeks but in Siyabonga Nomvete, Thabang Lebese and Dennis Vukubi I have a good blend of strikers and attacking midfielders that should see off Classic."

The Turkish-born Ertugral believes that SA under-23 and Bafana Bafana cap Nomvete has a big future. "Nomvete is going to be a class act. He has plenty of potential."

Ertugral is prepared for Classic's counter-attacking game. "We know that every team that plays against Chiefs tries that much harder and this game will be no exception."

Classic, under the quietly-spoken coach, Khabo Zondo, have been a revelation this season.

"We are learning with every game. The confidence in the camp is high. Chiefs have a quality team with a very experienced coach but don't be surprised if we cause an upset."

Zondo will be addressing his one headache and that is to find the right combination in attack since the injury to ace marksman Dingaan Masanabo. He is likely to opt for the well-built Mark Joubert alongside former Chiefs striker Thato Mal-eka.

"I've been trying to get the right pairing up front. That is the one area where we have not been doing all that well. We've fluffed too many good scoring chances. I believe that Joubert and Maleka could be the answer. Joubert has a future in the game. He has trimmed down, is powerful on the ball and could prove to be a handful for the Chiefs defenders," said Zondo.

Expect Maleka to be firing on all cylinders against his former club. But cautioned Zondo: "I have told him not to put himself under pressure by trying too hard to impress Chiefs and make them realise they made a mistake by letting him go. He must be cool and play his normal game and play to his strengths."

After a poor start Chiefs have settled in under Ertugral's guidance. "It takes time when a new coach takes over and we're over the teething problems. What is pleasing from my point is that the younger players are starting to push the older ones for first-team places and that is a healthy sign."

  • At Milpark on Friday night (8pm) Wits University face a searching test when they host Rothmans Cup semifinalists Manning Rangers and a struggling Ajax Cape Town entertain bottom club Bush Bucks at Newlands.

  • A number of important fixtures will be played on Sunday. Leaders Sundowns entertain Hellenic at Loftus Versfeld, Orlando Pirates travel to the Free State stadium where they play Bloemfontein Celtic, Moroka Swallows host SuperSport United at the Rand stadium, new Free State Stars coach Eddie Lewis will be in charge of the club at the Charles Mopeli stadium for the first time against Jomo Cosmos and AmaZulu welcome Santos to King's Park rugby stadium.

  • Sundowns coach Paul Dolezar has won a second successive Castle Premiership Coach of the Month award. Dolezar (53) was commended for his progressive coaching methods, his tactics and the innovative changes he has made to players' positions since joining the club in August.

    The Yugoslav-born coach took home R1000 and beer for a year for the second time.