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3 key match-ups that can light up Kaizer Chiefs-Mamelodi Sundowns clash

Phathutshedzo Nange has been a rock at the back for Kaizer Chiefs. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Phathutshedzo Nange has been a rock at the back for Kaizer Chiefs. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published May 6, 2022


Durban - Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns clash in unfamiliar circumstances this upcoming Sunday with the Brazilians already crowned DStv Premiership champions and awaiting their guard of honour from Amakhosi.

Chiefs have had a disappointing season, with Stuart Baxter getting the sack after they bowed out of all competitions to extend their trophy drought.

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While this weekend's battle at the FNB Stadium in Soweto may mean little for Sundowns' campaign, it is of great significance to Chiefs, who still have an outside chance of clinching a CAF Champions League sport for finishing in second place.

Sundowns, though, want to show their winning mentality and walk away with a the bragging rights.

IOL Sport's Smiso Msomi takes a look at some of the key match-ups that could influence this clash of the titans.

Siyabonga Ngezana vs Peter Shalulile

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It’s probably one of the hardest assignments in the league to keep 'Sha Sha' at bay this season.

The Namibian international is on a personal conquest at the moment as he chases down a 17-year-old record of 25 goals in a single season that is currently held by ex-Chiefs man Collins Mbesuma.

If anyone in that Chiefs backline can keep Shalulile quiet, it's Ngezana. The 24 year old defender has withstood all sorts of calamity around him, as his partners have struggled for form and discipline. He has been the mainstay in the Amakhosi defence since his return from injury.

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Keagan Dolly vs Lyle Lakay

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Dolly was recently described as one of the only two “explosive” players in the Chiefs line-up by interim coach Arthur Zwane, and if the hosts want to get anything against Sundowns Dolly may be their go-to man.

Speaking of explosive left-footed players, Lyle Lakay will have to be on Dolly duty this upcoming weekend as his defensive capabilities will be put to the test.

Lakay is undoubtedly the best left back in the country at the moment, but while his primary duties might be at the back, it is his attacking abilities that have seen him become one of Sundowns' most dangerous players.

Andile Jali vs Phathu Nange

Matches of high quality and significance are frequently won or lost in the middle of the park. The ability to claim dominance and dictate the tempo and patterns of play sets up the entire team well to be able to claim victory.

Jali, who is contender for Footballer of the Season, will be looking to continue his fine form in the middle of the park and ultimately sway this tie the way of the visitors.

Nange, however, will have the harder job of attempting to stop a Sundowns midfield trio who have lots of quality. But the key is going to be beating Jali in those 50/50 battles.