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Football | Absa Premiership

Khumalo and Khuse © Backpagepix

Odds stacked against Amakhosi



Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs will need a rapid change in fortunes if they are to launch an unlikely title challenge in their stuttering Premiership campaign, when they host an in-form Mamelodi Sundowns outfit at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Chiefs languish in sixth spot on the table, a full nine points behind table-topping Sundowns, albeit with a game in hand.

With Amakhosi coming off a crushing 2-1 loss at home to SuperSport United at the weekend, Sundowns will be firm favourites after a dominant 3-1 win over Santos in Atteridgeville.

Chiefs interim coach Doctor Khumalo, however, was reluctant to admit his struggling side was out of the title race as they still had a mathematical chance of winning the league with four games left in the season.

"Our chances will only fade up until the last game so that's what we believe," Khumalo said ahead of the midweek clash.

"It wasn't just about the game against SuperSport, because we're still left with four games, so up until the last game, that's when we'll know." Khumalo hinted at the turmoil going on behind the scenes in the troubled Chiefs camp after former coach Vladimir Vermezovic was sacked in April when they had seven league games left in the campaign.

"It's unfortunate because we are experiencing a transition period with our players adjusting to our philosophy," he said.

"The boys do create scoring chances and luck is not on our side and again [we are] giving away silly goals." Khumalo also laid a portion of the blame on inadequate preparation and injuries.

"We are looking forward to the game," he said.

"It's just unfortunate there were certain hiccups we experienced in terms of preparation.

"Some of the boys are not 100 percent and some got injured two days before we played SuperSport, but we will still soldier on." In other games on Wednesday, relegation-threatened Santos will host high-flying Free State Stars at Athlone Stadium.

Golden Arrows are at home to Wits in KwaMashu, and bottom-placed Jomo Cosmos will try to secure a rare away win when they travel to Phokeng to take on 10th-placed Platinum Stars.

Bloemfontein Celtic are at home to Ajax Cape Town as both teams fight for a top-eight finish.

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