Nkhatha looms large for Celtic

KINGSTON NKHATHA. Picture: Gallo Images

KINGSTON NKHATHA. Picture: Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs’ Kingston Nkhatha will feature prominently in Ernst Middendorp’s game plan when his Bloemfontein Celtic side play Amakhosi at the FNB Stadium tomorrow night.

Nkhatha has been a key figure for Chiefs lately, with the Zimbabwean striker netting four times in three games.

Two weeks ago when Chiefs hosted Namibia’s Black African in the Caf Champions League preliminary round, Nkhatha netted twice in a 3-0 win. He scored again in the 2-2 Premiership midweek draw against Maritzburg United and netted Chiefs’ only goal in their 1-1 draw in the second leg against Black Africa in Windhoek at the weekend.

Chiefs will face Liga Muculmana from Mozambique in the first round of the Champions League, the first of two remaining hurdles they must overcome to reach the group stage.

On the domestic front, Stuart Baxter’s men hold a six-point lead over second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns.

And as Celtic arrive for the game at the Nasrec venue, Baxter will be expecting Nkhatha to find the net again. The Zimbabwean international has scored five goals in the PSL – four goals short of top-scorer and team-mate Bernard Parker.

Celtic’s defence is expected to come under immense scrutiny given that they just lost their reliable defender and captain in Thabo Nthethe to Sundowns. Nthethe has been a vital cog in the Celtic side in the past few seasons and his departure is sure to leave a gap in Middendorp’s rearguard.

With Chiefs’ attack being strengthened by the arrival of former Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela, Celtic’s defensive unit should expect a torrid evening. Mphela made a cameo appearance last week against Maritzburg and in his brief spell at the Harry Gwala Stadium he showed some fine touches which belied the fact that his five games for Sundowns this season were as a substitute.

The match starts at 7.30pm.




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