JOHANNESBURG - Baroka FC have appeared a closed book to at least two of their opponents in the PSL campaign so far. And Kaizer Chiefs will not be an exception when coach Giovanni Solinas leads his charges at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday night to face a side which has not only brought in a new man at the helm in Wedson Nyirenda, but have almost completely changed the look of the team.
Following their close brush with relegation last season, a 14th-place finish that forced management to do some serious introspection, 15 new players were signed to afford Nyirenda, coincidentally a former Chiefs striker, to start from scratch.
Baroka lost to AmaZulu in their league opener earlier this month, but made up for it with a home win over Cape Town City four days later. One of their new recruits is Emmanuel Letlotlo, a loanee from Chiefs who is ineligible to play against his parent club. It is due to these dynamics that Solinas, fresh from his first victory as Amakhosi coach at the weekend, is wary of the trip to Limpopo.
“We can’t underestimate them,” the Italian mentor said. “For me there is no easy game in this league. Every game is a battle, difficult and tough. Baroka is a good team. They beat Cape Town City 2-1 in the last game and everyone knows City is a strong team.”
Solinas has already been given a rude awakening since taking over the reins at Amakhosi, first managing a satisfactory 1-1 draw against defending league champions Mamelodi Sundowns before Chiefs were taken apart by Bidvest Wits in a 3-1 defeat at FNB Stadium last Tuesday.