City must deliver on attack to beat Chippa at Athlone
CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City need to take a more attacking approach when they take on fellow strugglers Chippa United at the Athlone Stadium tomorrow (6pm kick-off).
Both teams have been enduring challenging campaigns but there are three points up for grabs going to the side wanting them the most.
The 11th-placed Citizens have home advantage at a venue they seldom play at but do well at. That should give them the edge over basement dwellers Chippa, provided they play the attacking brand of football they’ve become renowned for.
But this hasn’t been the case for the previous two games, both of which ended goalless.
Put that down to coach Jan Olde Riekerink opting for a defensive approach in a bid to stem the flow of goals into the back of their net. He’s gone with a 4-3-3 formation with the middle men more often than not in holding roles, and this has limited the usual high volume of forays into enemy territory.
City were the top scorers in the league with 19 goals before the Dutchman arrived on the scene a month ago.
But they’ve since been knocked off their perch by front-runners Kaizer Chiefs, who have scored 23.
Olde Riekerink was brought in by club chairman John Comitis to turn around the club’s fortunes following the axing of Bafana Bafana great Benni McCarthy, and still no change.
This will be his second home game on the bounce and anything less than maximum points is courting disaster.
Should City end up on the wrong side of the result and go on to lose their last game of the year away to Wits, they could be the ones propping up the table if other results don’t work in their favour.
That would make for a miserable festive period for all associated with the club.
Olde Riekerink said after making his home debut in the previous game against Highlands Park that he didn’t know of any coach who has gone into the changeroom and taken off his hat and pulled a rabbit out of it. “Coaches are not magicians,” he said.
Well he might need to come up with a few tricks to deny a visiting team enjoying a change in fortunes.
The Chilli Boys arrive in the Mother City riding a three-game unbeaten run of two wins and a draw in their last match.
The one-time Cape Town based club has in past encounters with City made life difficult for them and would love nothing more than to send their coastal rivals packing.
Olde Riekerink may turn to right-wing Riyaad Norodien as his lone striker which could open the door for a return for former Chippa captain Mark Mayambela down the right flank.
Bradley Ralani is likely to retain his place on the left wing and so too Thabo Nodada and Thato Mokeke as the midfield pairing.
Mike de Bruyn