This is somewhat a top of the table clash as both sides are seven points adrift of top-placed Mamelodi Sundowns. Whoever loses this one must start getting used to the idea of throwing the towel in the title race. There’s nothing to choose between these sides as they are tied on 31 points and the both did superbly last week in the Nedbank Cup.
Benni McCarthy continued his 100% record over Gavin Hunt when his Citizens beat Bidvest Wits 1-0 and Kaizer Chiefs put up a splendid performance, thrashing Golden Arrows 3-0. These teams have met on four occasions with the Cape Town outfit holding a superior record of two wins to Amakhosi’s one and the other match ending in a draw. Former Chiefs striker, Matthew Rusike, who capped his City debut with a goal, will face his former team for the first time since he left them for Europe.
Saturday 17 February
To Win (90 mins)
Kaizer Chiefs 23/20
Cape Town City 26/10
Coach Steve Komphela has made it very clear that he believes his team can still win the league as they are seven points adrift of top-placed Mamelodi Sundowns. Amakhosi have drawn 10 of their 20 games so far this season which isn’t a good return for a team of their calibre as that’s the second highest drawing record in the league this season.
Their goalscoring problems seem to have vanished as Ryan Moon has been in good form lately, scoring in all the last four matches. His aerial threat has been a nightmare for defenders. Itumeleng Khune was also very impressive against Golden Arrows as he produced a Man of The Match performance. Siphelele Ntshangase has done very well in the middle of the park but his poor finishing abilities have really let him down.
The hosts are sweating over the fitness of George Maluleka and Gustavo Paez, who didn’t feature the last time out due to injuries. Komphela must be delighted to have the experienced Bernard Parker back as he marked his return with a composed finish against Arrows. With the return of Ramahlwe Mphahlele to the starting line-up, Joseph Molangoane played in an advanced role further up the pitch and that did pay off as he also got his name of the scoresheet.
Cape Town City
The Citizens spent the last weekend in Swaziland where they got their first ever CAF Confederations Cup campaign off to a winning start. They beat Young Buffaloes 1-0, courtesy of a Nana-Akosah Bemba strike. Captain Robyn Johannes is still suspended in the PSL after receiving his marching orders against Mamelodi Sundowns, but the duo of Kwanda Mngonyama and Tshepo Gumede stepped up to the plate and kept clean sheets in the two matches they have played together.
Matthew Rusike marked his debut with a vital goal which saw the Capetonians knock Bidvest Wits out of the Nedbank Cup and this time he will be facing his former team in Amakhosi. It’s interesting to note that he will be well-rested heading into this encounter because he couldn’t be registered for CAF competitions in time. Teko Modise, Roland Putsche and Thamsanqa Mkhize were also rested for the match in Swaziland.
Speaking of Modise, the vastly experienced midfielder was voted Man of the Match against Bidvest Wits with his movement and passes in midfield troubling the Students and on his day, he is unplayable. He will definitely be one of their key players in this encounter.
City might also be without midfield maestro, Thabo Nodada who suffered a hamstring damage after a foul by Sundowns goalkeeper, Denis Onyango. Just like Komphela, McCarthy has expressed his desire to win every match.
“I don’t have any preference of which competition to prioritize. I’ve said it before, I want to win every match,” he told reporters before the Confed match.
Verdict: Draw 39/20
Both teams have dangerous attackers and their new signings are doing very well. McCarthy seems content with 1-0 wins and his team hasn’t scored more than one goal since the 4-2 defeat to Maritzburg United 11 matches ago. Chiefs drop a lot of points through draws and I don’t see them outscoring the visitors. The match is likely to end in a stalemate.