Sport 15.2.2014 08:00 am

Baxter to give his stars a rest

READY FOR ACTION. Matthew Rusike of Kaizer Chiefs is likely to be given a starting place for his team for their Caf Champions League second leg clash against  Black Africa at the Independent Stadium in Windhoek tonight. Picture: BackpagePix.

READY FOR ACTION. Matthew Rusike of Kaizer Chiefs is likely to be given a starting place for his team for their Caf Champions League second leg clash against Black Africa at the Independent Stadium in Windhoek tonight. Picture: BackpagePix.

Without strikers Sphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, you would figure that Kaizer Chiefs would be ripe for the plucking.

The trio are a vital cog in the Amakhosi starting line-up and their influence is immense – to an extent that victory for Chiefs without them is by no means a certainty.

This evening Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter is expected to field his fringe players when the Phefeni Glamour Boys travel to Namibia’s Independent Stadium.

Chiefs are in the neighbouring state for their second leg Caf Champions League preliminary round match with a comfortable 3-0 lead from the first leg.

A week ago today, Kingston Nkhatha scored twice, while Mandla Masango scored the other goal to give Chiefs a handy lead ahead of today’s return encounter.

Masango and Nkhatha though, are among the 18-member travelling squad which left South Africa yesterday, to feature prominently again against Black Africa.

Reyad Pieterse, Kgotso Moleko and Matthew Rusike – to mention just three – are the fringe players Baxter is expected to give a run in this evening’s game.

While Chiefs are expected to walk all over Black Africa, the hosts’ captain Dacosta Angula has been quoted on a weekly website as describing Chiefs as “not that good”.

Angula may either be convinced by his gut feel that they could stage a comeback in Windhoek or the player is just playing mind games.

In truth, their standard of play is not something which will give Chiefs any sleepless nights.

But history, as it has shown in the past, plays very little part in the modern game. It is the best and well-prepared side which wins on the day.

Perhaps Black Africa are rejoicing at the prospect of not seeing Tshabalala, Khune and Parker in the team.

But in Pieterse, Chiefs still have a decent goalkeeper.

The match starts at 8pm.

 

 

 

 

 

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