THE LAST time Kaizer Chiefs played at their happy hunting ground, FNB Stadium, they lost 2-0 to Chippa United on 21 May this year.
Also, Orlando Pirates have the bragging rights for having defeated Chiefs 2-0 at their home ground in their last clash at the same FNB Stadium on 5 March.
Will lightning strike again for Amakhosi in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup at FNB Stadium tomorrow (3.30pm), or will Bucs make it three wins in a row?
In last year’s beer cup match at the venue, Pirates defeated Chiefs 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.
With the cup ending in a dull draw every year since its inception in 2011 – apart from 2013 – there is a chance for very credible bragging rights for the team that wins it outright.
- Pirates have won four of the five previous editions and Chiefs one.
TEAMS’ POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES
They parted ways with over 20 players in the off-season.
They demoted Doctor Khumalo to the development ranks and appointed John Paintsil as new assistant.They are currently in an arbitration case with Siboniso Gaxa regarding a contractual disagreement.
They have signed lesser-known players who are still new to the Chiefs brand and it will take them some time to adjust. These include Ryan Moon, Siyabonga Ngezana and the promoted 19-year-old Emmanuel Letlotlo, as well as Edmore Chirambadare, Mitchell Katsvairo‚ Enocent Mkhabela, Sibusiso Khumalo‚ Zambian striker Lewis Macha and Keagan Buchanan.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele is the only new player in the squad who has the experience to aid Chiefs.
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and defender Eric Mathoho are bound to be distracted as they will be thinking about the trip they will be taking to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow night, where they will join Team SA for the Olympic Games in Brazil.
They go into this clash at the back of what could be described as a failed 2015-16 season, where they didn’t win any trophies – despite reaching finals.
The latest news that a player has tested positive for a banned substance could hamper concentration as gossip flies in camp.
New coach Muhsin Ertugral and his new assistant Bradley Carnell could be a breath of fresh air.
They have let some players go but made good signings in Ayanda Nkosi, Abbubaker Mobara and Riyaad Norodien.
They will be without top midfielder Thabo Qalinge, who has been ruled out of any competitive action due to a hamstring injury.
Captain Oupa Manyisa is back and fighting for his place in the team, while goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo is as sharp as a hot knife slicing through butter.
Club chairman Irvin Khoza is now fully focused on team administration at the club. The last time Khoza focused wholly on the team – in the 2011-12 season – they won the championship.