#SowetoDerby: Lebogang Manyama boost for Kaizer Chiefs against Orlando Pirates
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Kaizer Chiefs have received a major boost ahead of the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates as key midfielder Lebogang Manyama has been declared fit.
Manyama has been out of action over the last few weeks after a serious car accident that saw his vehicle written off.
The Bafana Bafana playmaker was fortunate to escape last month’s crash with a fractured arm and a few bruises, but crucially not sustaining major injuries.
And on Thursday, Amakhosi coach Giovanni Solinas confirmed that the 28-year-old is back on the pitch and will be considered for Saturday’s Telkom Knockout semi-final against the Buccaneers at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (3pm kickoff).
“Lebo is okay. He is in full training, and he also played on Saturday in a friendly game. So, he is available for the derby. So, no problem with Lebo,” Solinas said at a press conference hosted by the PSL in Johannesburg.
But it remains unclear as to whether right back Ramahlwe Mphahlele will be available.
Mphahlele limped off after 56 minutes of Bafana’s 1-1 draw with Paraguay in the Nelson Mandela Challenge clash on Tuesday in Durban, with coach Stuart Baxter saying that he’s got a groin strain.
Solinas bemoaned the fact that Chiefs “don’t have a lot of time” to prepare for the Soweto Derby due to the international window, but praised his players for their commitment in training so far.
“We don’t have a lot of time because the international players only came back yesterday, and some players today. So, we have two days for the derby,” the Italian mentor said.
“I was happy about the training session because I saw the concentration and commitment from my boys.
“Very difficult at Kaizer Chiefs as there are a lot of international players, and we have to manage this. We are trying to improve the system of our play, and have a quick integration with the international players when they come back.
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“We need to focus quickly and have understanding, because the timing is not too much. But I repeat that I am happy because of the commitment shown by the guys today.”