Chiefs forced into defensive shake-up for Maritzburg test




African News Agency


A MARITZBURG United desperate for points will test Kaizer Chiefs’ squad depth with numerous key players missing for the Amakhosi’s trip to Kwazulu-natal. Amakhosi will take their good form on the road into a meeting against the Team of Choice at the Harry Gwala Stadium in what is expected to be a deafening atmosphere today at 8pm. Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has the huge task of finding yet another replacement for right-backs Reeve Frosler and Dillon Solomons (who are both still sidelined due to injury) after Siyabonga Ngezana picked up his fourth yellow card of the season. Ngezana’s suspension does not only deny Zwane a chance to pick one of his most in-form defenders but also prompts a restructuring in personnel to keep up their good defensive momentum. The Glamour Boys have kept five clean sheets in their past seven matches in all competitions and look a far cry from the side that shipped goals for fun in the first round of the campaign. Ngezana joins the likes of Khama Billiat, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Cole Alexander on the list of big misses as Chiefs try to make a valid claim for a CAF Champions League spot. Centre-back Zitha Kwinika is Zwane’s most likely man to slot into that vacant right-sided defensive position having alternated with Ngezana in that place in recent weeks. However, a Maritzburg side with the support of a home crowd and the pace of the likes of Wayde Jooste and Ali Meza might pose a few difficult questions for Chiefs. Amakhosi will seek to complete a treble of wins over the Team of Choice this season and begin a surge up the Dstv Premiership log standings. The Naturena-based club sit in fourth position, with 34 points after 22 matches and face a Maritzburg outfit fighting for their lives at second from bottom, with 21 points after 22 outings. A victory for Chiefs could see them leapfrog Orlando Pirates who are in third, and draw to within two points of second-placed Supersport United. One of the few boosts for Zwane will be Christian Saile Basomboli’s return from suspension. The Congolese livewire has shown promising signs of being a potential danger to the opposition, having already scored his first goal against their next opponents.