Amakhosi need to put one over Clever Boys

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Kick off is at 20h00.

A Noah Chivuta penalty handed the Clever Boys a 1-0 away win over the Amakhosi earlier in the season and they will surely be confident of taking another three points off Muhsin Ertugral’s misfiring side.

The lack of confidence in Chiefs’ ranks was all to apparent in their goalless draw away to Jomo Cosmos on Sunday and with the chairman and fans looking for better results, the pressure will be on the coach and squad.

The men in gold and black, like Ezenkosi, missed some glorious scoring chances and needed a fine display of goalkeeping from Itumeleng Khune to spare them a defeat against the bottom-placed club.

Wits head into this match off the back of a 2-0 loss away to Orlando Pirates, putting to an end their seven-match unbeaten run that saw them pick up 17 out of a possible 21 points.

Chiefs, in contrast, have won just one of their last 10 league matches and scored a paltry 10 times in the process. Had it not been for their good defence and the inspirational Khune, the Amakhosi’s anemic attack would surely see them placed even lower than 12th.

Chiefs did win this corresponding fixture 1-0 last season thanks to Kaizer Motaung Junior, but the striker now looks well short of the confidence that saw him enjoy his best campaign in 2006/07.

Add in Wits’ excellent home record (the second best in the league behind Free State Stars) that has seen them beaten only once so far, and one would have to say that the Clever Boys start as strong favourites.

Ertugral could well have the option of selecting midfielder Gerald Sibeko against Wits as the 28-year-old midfielder seems to have made a full recovery from a combined Achilles tendon and calf muscle strain which saw him miss Chiefs’ games against both Thanda Royal Zulu and Jomo Cosmos.

According to the Amakhosi website, Sibeko, who missed training in the latter part of January and early February, began full training last week and has recovered sufficiently to render himself available for the clash against Wits.

“Gerald has both defensive and offensive capabilities which renders him a very important part of our team, when he is not around his absence is really felt by us. We will not rush him back unnecessarily but we will monitor his progress in training on Monday and Tuesday before making a final decision on whether or not he can play in the match against Wits,” says Ertugral.

In the meantime defender Jonathan Quartey, who last featured in a competitive match for Chiefs back in September, will have to wait a little longer to start playing again. The Ghanaian youth international had his tonsils removed which means that he will, in all likelihood, not feature against Wits or Supersport whom Chiefs host at the weekend.

Wits:Date Opponent H/A Result16/02/08 Orlando Pirates A L 0-213/02/08 Jomo Cosmos H W 2-021/12/07 Moroka Swallows H W 1-015/12/07 Thanda Royal Zulu H W 1-012/12/07 AmaZulu A D 1-1

Chiefs:17/02/08 Jomo Cosmos A D 0-013/02/08 Thanda Royal Zulu H L 0-122/12/07 Black Leopards H D 1-116/12/07 Bloemfontein Celtic A D 1-112/12/07 Golden Arrows H W 4-2

HEAD-TO-HEAD STATSLeague meetings since 1996/97

1996/97Wits 0 Chiefs 0Chiefs 0 Wits 1 (Carnell)

1997/98Chiefs 2 (own goal, Lebese) Wits 0Wits 1 (Makhanya) Chiefs 1 (Lebese)

1998/99Chiefs 1 (Zwane) Wits 1 (Devine)Wits 0 Chiefs 2 (Nomvethe, Ndlanya)

1999/2000Wits 0 Chiefs 0Chiefs 1 (Mbuthu) Wits 0

2000/01Chiefs 1 (Nomvete) Wits 0Wits 1 (M.Ngwenya) Chiefs 2 (Sithole, Mooki)

2001/02Wits 0 Chiefs 1 (Macomo) Chiefs 0 Wits 0

2002/03Wits 1 (Devine) Chiefs 0Chiefs 0 Wits 2 (Murisa 2)

2003/04Wits 0 Chiefs 0Chiefs 1 (Motaung jr) Wits 1 (Yohane)

2004/05Wits 1 (Murisa) Chiefs 2 (Nengomashe, Radebe)Chiefs 1 (Mbesuma (pen)) Wits 0

2006/07Chiefs 1 (Fernandez [pen]) Wits 2 (De Jesus 2)Wits 0 Chiefs 1 (Motaung Jr)

2007/08Chiefs 0 Wits 1 (Chivuta [pen])