SA PSL – Kaizer Chiefs v Platinum Stars

Kaizer Chiefs v Platinum Stars – Sunday 28 April – Peter Mokaba Stadium (15:00)

Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Kaizer Chiefs

Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Kaizer Chiefs

The ABSA Premiership’s top two battle it out this weekend with the result set to play a big part in the final run-in for the title race. Chiefs lie at the top of the table six points ahead of their opponents Platinum Stars and nine points clear of defending champions Orlando Pirates, who have a game in hand.

With just four games remaining Platinum have the chance to potentially create another exciting finale where the league winners could only be decided on the last day of action. If Amakhosi win they will go nine points clear and only need a point from their remaining three matches to be crowned champions. What makes this game more intriguing is the fact that Platinum Stars are the only team to have beaten Chiefs this season.

Kaizer Chiefs came from behind to beat Moroka Swallows 3-1 at the Dobsonville Stadium last Saturday night in what was an entertaining Soweto derby.  Giorgi Nergadze put the Dube Birds ahead after 21 minutes, while Katlego Mashego saw his penalty saved by Itumeleng Khune, having had to take it three times following successive infringements from an over-eager Siyabonga Nomvethe. The hosts were then made to pay dearly for that miss as goals from Bernard Parker either side of the half was capped off by a lovely George Lebese strike to earn three invaluable points for the Premiership leaders. Baxter praised his players for having given a title-winning performance as Chiefs edged closer to their first league championship in eight years.

“I am chuffed and happy with our situation, but we are far from having one hand on the trophy,” Baxter said. The coach also warned that they are far from home and dry because better teams have squandered their chance of winning the title from even bigger leads.”I’ve seen Manchester United, and even better teams, give up the title from even bigger leads than us. We should not take things for granted.” Amakhosi have reason to be worried going into Sunday’s clash. Skipper and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is suspended after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season against Swallows on Saturday.

Baxter has said his number two goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo will have to step up in his first official match for Chiefs. Khuzwayo was signed from AmaZulu at the start of the season and has overtaken Arthur Bartman as Chiefs’ second choice. His one Bafana Bafana cap suggests that the 23-year-old goalkeeper has potential and will get his chance to prove himself in Polokwane. However, some good news for the Amakhosi faithful is that midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane is back after serving the suspension he picked up following his red card against Golden Arrows.

Cavin Johnson has declared psychological war on his Kaizer Chiefs counterpart, Stuart Baxter, dismissing Platinum Stars’ chances in the title race. Having seen Dikwena fall six points behind Amakhosi, following their 1-1 draw against Chippa United at Royal Bafokeng Stadium last Saturday, Johnson repeated the words “the league title has already been wrapped up”, to those who are still hopeful. Fatigue appeared to be creeping into Dikwena’s game, as Johnson’s men looked jaded in the latter stages of the match. But having played three games in seven days, the effects were certain to be felt. Platinum will have a psychological edge having already beaten Chiefs 2-0. However, their home form has been very different to their away record as they have lost six matches on their 13 travels, scoring only 10 goals and conceding 13.

Chiefs will be using the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane where they have played five matches this season, winning four and drawing one. Stars should put up a good fight. They are unbeaten in their last five and are tipped to hold Chiefs to a draw here.

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