JOHANNESBURG – Following a disappointing 2018/19 domestic season, Kaizer Chiefs are under pressure to deliver in the next campaign, and nothing will boost their confidence more than a win over their arch rivals Orlando Pirates.
The Soweto giants clash in the eighth edition of the Carling Black Label Cup at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The public voting lines to select the starting line-ups closed last night and Football Reporter Mihlali Baleka profiles three Chiefs players who have what it takes to inspire their team to a fourth Carling Cup title.
Lazarous Kambole - Striker
Signed from Zambian giants Zesco United, Kambole gets the chance to show Chiefs’ supporters what he’ll bring to the team next season.
Kambole boasts an impressive CV, and it was his exploits against Amakhosi in the final round of the preliminary stages of the Caf Confederation Cup last season that convinced the club’s management to bring him to the PSL.
The 30-year-old Zambian will be hoping for a fine showing this weekend to inspire him to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Wedson Nyirenda and Collins Mbesuma, who have previously led Chiefs’ attack with distinction.
Khama Billiat – Attacking midfielder
He might be considered hot property by some clubs in North Africa and the Middle East, but Billiat remains a Chiefs player and will be hoping to continue churning out his best in the famous gold and black jersey, regardless of what may happen later in the transfer window.
Sure, Billiat may have endured an underwhelming showing with Zimbabwe in the recent Africa Cup of Nations, but it was his individual outings that caught the attention of the Arabs, while sending a strong message to the PSL opposition for next season.
For Billiat, to play for Amakhosi at a packed FNB Stadium has been a childhood dream, so he’ll be hoping to continue where he left off in his last Soweto derby - the Zimbabwean superstar having won the penalty that got Chiefs their goal in a 1-1 draw.
Joseph Malongoane - Midfielder
Having spent more time in Chiefs’ medical room than on the field last season because of a dislocated right ankle, Malongoane hopes to gain confidence from the pre-season matches.
And that confidence would surely overflow if it were to come via beating the old enemy in a sold-out Carling Cup clash.
The 31-year-old Alexandra-born player has a bitter-sweet relationship with the Buccaneers having spent the 2013/14 season with them before being loaned to Chippa United.
Considering it is his first pre-season under Ernst Middendorp, Malongoane will be out to prove to the German that his versatility of also playing as a right wing-back could benefit a team under pressure to win trophies.@Mihlalibaleka