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Football | Absa Premiership

Chiefs bracing for Wits backlash



Kaizer Chiefs are expecting a backlash from Wits when they meet in a league fixture on Saturday, according to Amakhosi skipper Itumeleng Khune, one week after they sent the Students crashing out the Nedbank Cup.

Chiefs beat Wits 3-0 in their last 32 knockout match in Nelspruit, and Khune said the log leaders were bracing for a tough challenge in their Absa Premiership encounter at FNB Stadium.

"We're expecting a different ball game," Khune said.

"Wits are a very good side with the most experienced coach in South Africa, Clive Barker, so we know what we need to do.

"We're expecting a different Wits side to pitch up, and we're playing at home, so it should be a good game."

Chiefs were drawn against National First Division outfit Polokwane City on Thursday for the second round of the knockout cup, and Khune was confident his side had the experience to shift between competitions without affecting their momentum.

Two points clear of Orlando Pirates at the top of the standings, Amakhosi have an opportunity to stretch their lead this weekend, with the Buccaneers tied up in a Caf Champions League preliminary round match against Comoros outfit Djabal.

"It's not hard at all. We've done it before," Khune said.

"We shift our focus from the national team to our clubs, and it's the same between the different league and cup competitions.

"We know what we want, and what we need to do, so we just need to set goals for ourselves and reach them.

"We need to win every game, and that's we're trying to achieve."

Elsewhere on Saturday, Golden Arrows host Free State Stars in Umlazi, outside Durban, while Bloemfontein Celtic are at home to bottom feeders Chippa United in Botshabelo, and Moroka Swallows face strugglers AmaZulu in Dobsonville.

On Sunday, high-flying Platinum Stars host the University of Pretoria in Phokeng, near Rustenburg, and Moroka Swallows square up against Black Leopards in Pietermaritzburg.

Stars coach Cavin Johnson believed his side had the ability to compete for the league title.

“We do have depth to our squad and that means we do have a chance," Johnson said.

"The task now is to prepare the youngsters to deal with the pace of the matches that will be coming in the next months.

“There's a lot of potential. We have a two to three year plan and maybe we are a little ahead of schedule, but we can compete with Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and we have to soldier on.”

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