Durban - AmaZulu play their first DSTV Premiership game of 2022 when they host relegation candidate TS Galaxy at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday night.
Usuthu enters the game sixth on the log but just four points behind second placed Orlando Pirates. With the title now firmly out of reach, the best that they can aim for is a repeat of last season’s second place finish that earned them a historic berth in the CAF Champions League this season.
Galaxy are currently on a high, having won their last two games in all competitions against Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup and Swallows FC in the league. The Rockets’ win over the Dube Birds took them out of the relegation zone and a strong run of form now can take them firmly out of the relegation scrap.
AmaZulu also enters the game on the back of their first ever CAF Champions League group stage win over Horoya AC which should give them confidence. After dominating the first half against their Guinea based opponents and scoring through Luvuyo Memela, Benni McCarthy’s charges showed strong resilience to withstand a second half onslaught from Horoya.
After the game against Galaxy, McCarthy will prepare his troops for a clash against ES Setif at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday night. The 44-year-old is confident that his team has what it takes to go far in Africa’s Premier Club Cup competition this season.
McCarthy is taking plenty of inspiration from Kaizer Chiefs impressive run in the Champions League last term. Despite finishing eighth domestically, Chiefs made it all the way to the Champions League final last season, only to be downed by Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly side in the final.
“I have high expectations and I think that we are good enough. My desire is to emulate what Kaizer Chiefs did. No one expected Chiefs to go all the way to the final and I think that would be amazing.
“It is a nice target for us to try and achieve. We are an SA team that nobody really expects to do anything.
“Chiefs went to the final the first time they were in the group stages. That was special and inspiring.” Said McCarthy.
Meanwhile, McCarthy has all but confirmed that Siyethemba Sithebe will not play for the club this season.
The 29-year-old is reported to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Kaizer Chiefs that left club chairman Sandile Zungu upset.
“Sithebe was not available and it’s a discussion the club had with myself and the technical team on the situation, so it’s out of my control.
“I can only select who I have at my disposal and unfortunately, I don’t have him at my disposal, so I can’t put a player that I can’t select,” said McCarthy.