Mzwakhe Ngwenya
2 minute read
19 Apr 2014
1:00 pm

Baxter ready to field strong side

Mzwakhe Ngwenya

Expect Stuart Baxter to field his regular players against ASEC Mimosas tomorrow.

Kingston Nkhatha. Pic: Backpagepix.

“We will field a competitive side,” Baxter said. “We will be playing in our own backyard. The game will be tough and will also test our experience in Caf competitions.

“We will protect our territory,” he vowed.

The general feeling was that the Kaizer Chiefs coach might decide to field his second-string team as the priority looks to be defending the Absa Premiership trophy.

But Baxter has dispelled such notions as he promises to field his regular players for this Caf Confederation Cup first-leg match at the Dobsonville Stadium.

After Amakhosi were eliminated from the Caf Champions League last month, talk was that Chiefs might boycott the continental competition given the poor officiating they had been subjected to.

But a change of heart saw them confirm their participation in the Confederation Cup.

Having lost the top spot in the Absa Premiership to Mamelodi Sundowns, Chiefs were thought to going to give the Caf tournament less attention.

That notion was held simply because the coach may be worried about injuries and fatigue in his players as the return leg in a week’s time will be in West Africa’s Ivory Coast.

These games will be plyed on top of their PSL schedule, and fatigue may heavily hamper their title aspirations as Sundowns have overtaken them.

Their key striker Knowledge Musona picked up an injury in the encounter and this history gave Baxter the ammunition to field his fringe players as he has done in the past.

And Musona’s absence on the domestic front has hit Chiefs hard up front as fellow marksmen Bernard Parker and Kingston Nkhatha are struggling to find their best form.

But it appears that Baxter and management have made winning the Confederations Cup part of their priorities.

West African sides are known to rely on their physical strength rather than playing the ball and Chiefs should be wary of this if they are to proceed to the last eight of the continental competition.

The match starts at 3pm.