CAPE TOWN – Over 20 000 tickets have already been sold, and Cape Town is buzzing!
That’s what happens when Kaizer Chiefs come to town, and it also helps that local team Cape Town City are in form and have reached the MTN8 final.
Their coach Benni McCarthy has also added fuel to the fire by saying that he wants to turn Chiefs fans into City supporters, and that “they (Chiefs) know I will be out to try to hurt them” after being reportedly snubbed by Amakhosi in the past, which saw him join Orlando Pirates.
But the fact of the matter is that Chiefs have yet to win a league game this season, with four draws and a defeat.
Something has got to give for coach Giovanni Solinas. He’s got more ammunition this time around as new signings Lebogang Manyama and Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana have been declared fit for selection.
But exactly how will he set up the team against City? Will there be wholesale changes? Solinas also cannot call on defender Erick Mathoho for Saturday’s clash at the Cape Town Stadium (3pm kickoff).
Judging from Chiefs’ last match – the MTN8 second leg semi-final against SuperSport United – Solinas is likely to remain with his defence of Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Siyabonga Ngezana, Teenage Hadebe and Godfrey Walusimbi in front of captain Itumeleng Khune.
Willard Katsande is another shoo-in as the defensive midfielder, but who will be the five players in front of him? Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro are sure bets upfront, which means that there are three more spaces.
Against SuperSport, those positions were occupied by Dumsani Zuma, Wiseman Meyiwa and Siphelele Ntshangase.
But should Solinas go for broke and bring in both Manyama and Dax? I think so. Manyama can be the creative force who could unlock both Castro and Billiat, and he will have that extra bit of determination to put one over his former club City.
Dax is a bit of an unknown factor, although Solinas has said previously that the Madagascan is a “box-to-box midfielder” who plays in the same position as Siphelele Ntshangase.
But “Mr Champagne Pass” has been in good form this season, so perhaps he will be paired alongside Dax…
Possible Kaizer Chiefs Team
Itumeleng Khune, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Siyabonga Ngezana, Teenage Hadebe, Godfrey Walusimbi, Willard Katsande, Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana, Siphelele Ntshangase, Lebogang Manyama, Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro.