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Football | Absa Premiership

Rejuvenated Baroka host in-form Chiefs

Baroka will face off with Kaizer Chiefs in an Absa Premiership game at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 8:15pm.

Bakgaga have been boosted by their 2-0 win over FC Cape Town in the Nedbank Cup last 32 game which was played in the Mother City last weekend.

Ndivhuwo Ravhuhali fired Baroka into the lead a few minutes after the halftime break, before Richard Matloga sealed the victory in the late stages of the game.

The win ended Baroka's 15-match winless run in all major competitions. Before facing Cape Town, they had drawn 0-0 with Polokwane City in a league game at home.

Baroka remain at the bottom of the league standings with 14 points from 20 matches. They are three points behind 15th-placed Highlands Park.

Punch Masenamela, the Baroka defender, is set to miss Saturday's clash. The former Chiefs left-back will be serving his suspension.

Matloga has been a key player for Bakgaga - featuring in all of their league games this season. The midfielder will be looking to inspire his side to a surprise victory over Chiefs.

Milton Dlamini, the new Baroka co-coach, has admitted that his side are the underdogs against Absa Premiership title chasing Chiefs.

“If we beat Chiefs it will be a bonus but we are in the league of teams that are trying to avoid relegation that involves us‚ Highlands Park‚ Free State Stars and Ajax Cape Town," Dlamini said.

"Chiefs are in the other league where teams are fighting to win the championship and we are not competing with those teams."

Meanwhile, Chiefs recorded a convincing 3-0 victory over Stellenbosch in the Nedbank Cup last 32 game which was played in Cape Town last weekend.

Joseph Molangoane opened the scoring for Amakhosi, while Siphiwe Tshabalala and Gustavo Paez also put their names on the scoresheet for the visitors.

The victory extended Chiefs' unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions. They had registered two successive draws in the league, before facing Stellenbosch.

Steve Komphela's side are placed fourth on the league standings with 35 points from 20 games. Chiefs are only three points behind log leaders Bidvest Wits.

Tshabalala netted his 50th goal for Chiefs against Stellenbosch and the veteran midfielder will be keen to maintain his good form when he faces Bakgaga.

Amakhosi central defender Erick Mathoho says that despite Baroka feeling confident after returning to winning ways, Chiefs are capable of collecting maximum points in Polokwane.

“This is a great opportunity for us to stay in touch with the teams above us. This league race is only heating up now," Mathoho said.

"Baroka will feel a bit confident after their win this past weekend, but I think we have enough to get the three points if we can have a similar approach to the one against Stellenbosch.

"If we play our normal football we can beat any team."

When Baroka and Chiefs met in the first-round league game, the two sides played to a goalless stalemate in Durban five months ago.


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