AmaZulu aim to dethrone Cup kings

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AmaZulu have begun the season in good form, but after losing their last league game 1-0 to League leaders Ajax, they will want to get back to winning ways.

While their away record is good, their home record needs improving with the team having only registered one win in four outings on their own turf.

Chiefs, on the other hand, will be hoping that the R4.25 million winners cheque from the Telkom Cup on Saturday night will act as a catalyst for better things in their league campaign.

To date, they have registered just two wins in the league and sit uncomfortably in 13th place on the log and while cup success will give coach Muhsin Ertugral some respite from disgruntled fans, he knows that Chiefs’ season is judged on league position rather than cup trophies in their cabinet.

The AmaZulu game starts a hectic run for Chiefs, who have to play five league matches in 17 days. It could make or break the club’s league aspirations.

“It’s tough as none of us have been able to enjoy the cup success. We have all these games to play before the end of the year, but we are high on confidence and if we can get a good run going, then by the end of the year, we could be back in the league race,” says defender Jimmy Tau.

AmaZulu coach Clive Barker will want Chiefs to start that sequence of matches on a negative note.

“We love a challenge and playing Chiefs is always going to be tough. After Saturday, they will be on a high and we will have to play against what I expect to be a big crowd.”

Barker is hoping the AmaZulu fans also come in numbers to match the Chiefs fans.

“Traditionally, Chiefs versus AmaZulu is a big match and we hope there is a bumper crowd. We have been playing well so I feel it will be a great game and I hope it has what the crowd deserves.”

Barker does not buy into the theory that Chiefs could be there for the taking as the players might drop their guard after their cup success.

“They have had a difficult league season and the cup win will have lifted their spirits and make them more eager to get things going in the league.”

In head-to-head encounters, Chiefs have the upper hand, having won 21 of the 36 league matches between the two teams since 1985.

However, AmaZulu will take heart in the fact that the last league encounter between the two ended in a 2-1 victory for the Usuthu.