Kaizer Chiefs aren’t underestimating Black Leopards
It has been an eventual fortnight for Amkhosi. The football gods started smiling on the side from Tuesday, January 7, the day the club commemorated their 50th birthday, when fellow title rivals Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw.
A day later, the Glamour Boys capitalised on the opportunity, defeating Highlands Park 3-0 at a packed FNB Stadium to put the perfect icing on the birthday cake, thus stretching their lead at the summit to six points.
And in a flash, it was two 3-0 wins in two matches as Chiefs extended their lead to nine points when they clashed with Cape Town City at home on Sunday, while second-placed Sundowns playing in a CAF Champions League group stage match at home against USM Alger.
Known to be experts in catch-up games, the champions were made to eat humble pie as they suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Orlando Pirates two days ago, ensuring that Chiefs’ nine-point lead stayed intact.
The Glamour Boys, however, will be out to stretch that lead when they face Lidoda Duvha, who occupy 15th spot on the log standings.
“We are hoping that by tomorrow (today), we’d have ironed out all our preparations for the game against Leopards. We know that they have lost all their last three matches, but we cannot take them for granted,” Akpeyi said.
“We are looking to stay at the top of the standings, and that is why we have to make sure that we are strong tactically and mentally.”
Chiefs’ disappointing finish, outside the top-eight last season, was due to their frailty against weaker opposition.
So much so that the Glamour Boys could only salvage a point when they travelled to the Thohoyandou Stadium last season - a place where not many teams have failed to go to and easily dominate.
Akpeyi though is not much of a historian, is banking on his team to continue with the resurgence as a win would take team put them 12 points clear of the chasing pack.
“History doesn’t play much on the day. We are still going to prepare, first.
“We do, however, know that it will be a difficult game but we need to make sure that we get a good result,” he said.
With Chiefs scheduled to play tomorrow, that likely gives them an advantage compared to the two other title contenders Sundowns and SuperSport United, who’ll battle for three points and Tshwane bragging rights at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 3;30pm).
A positive result for Chiefs from the nation’s capital would be the Pretoria giants cancelling out each other out with a draw.@Mihlalibaleka