Itumeleng Khune is back between the sticks and ready to lead Chiefs as they try and stay on top of the Premier League table. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

DURBAN - Ernst Middendorp is facing a goalkeeping conundrum at Kaizer Chiefs.

Itumeleng Khune has recovered from an injury which has kept him out of the picture for the past two months.

In his absence, Daniel Akpeyi has proven to be highly influential as the last line of defence for Amakhosi and recently the Nigerian scooped the Premiership Player of the Month for November.

Akpeyi was also colossal as Chiefs reached the Telkom Knockout semi-finals. When Maritzburg United bundled Chiefs out of the Telkom Knockout, Akpeyi was suspended.

The big question is whether Middendorp will stick with Akpeyi or go back to club captain Khune.

Former Chiefs goalkeeper William Shongwe believes that Akpeyi should continue in goal for Amakhosi.

“For the most part of his career Khune has had it his way. There was a time when Khune was competing with Brilliant Khuzwayo and Riyaad Pieterse. Regardless of whether they were doing well or not, Khune will come back and take the No 1 jersey. That has always been the case because coaches prefer to have their No 1 goalkeeper. 

If I had to say it, Akpeyi has been making the No 1 jersey his own at Chiefs and Khune should work his way back in to the team,” Shongwe explained.

Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Akpeyi has kept five clean sheets in nine league appearances. Only Richard Ofori of Maritzburg United, Elvis Chipezeze of Baroka FC and Ronwen Williams of SuperSport United have kept more clean sheets, the trio having shut out the opposition on six occasions.

“I think it will be fair to give Akpeyi a chance and see how far they can go with him between the sticks. He has done well. Khune is experienced enough to understand this kind of situation. Akpeyi deserves to play. Let Khune work his way back,” Shongwe added.

Chiefs have the best defence in the league. They have conceded seven goals in 12 outings.

“Khune has done well for Chiefs in the last number of years, but you don’t want a situation where a team starts losing and Khune is between the sticks. That can affect the morale of the team because there will be a time when they will lose form. I’m not saying they will lose if Khune is given the nod, no. Khune has had his way in the past but this time around I’m going with Akpeyi.”

Chiefs face Bloemfontein Celtic at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday (8.15pm).

@Minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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