Chiefs need punch upfront against Arrows

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Kick off is at 19h30.

Amakhosi have drawn four league matches on the spin and although their success in the Telkom Knockout has eased the pressure off coach Muhsin Ertugral somewhat, the Soweto giants are in need of three points to halt their slow but steady slide down the table.

Chiefs have won just twice this season, the last time coming on October 31 against Free State Stars, and their 0-0 draw away to Santos on Sunday demonstrated where their problem lies: a lack of punch in front of goal.

A mere 10 goals in 12 league matches is a sign of players who are not yet on the same wavelength, but their good defensive record – just eight goals conceded, equal with Ajax Cape Town as the best in the Premiership – shows that they are at least doing the basics right.

Perhaps Mabhuti Khenyeza, playing against his former team for the first time since his move to Johannesburg earlier in the year, will spark Chiefs’ attack to life, but it is in midfield where the real battle will be waged and on that count Arrows have the in-form Philani Shange and Kagisho Dikgacoi to match up to Chiefs’ ever excellent Tinashe Nengomasha.

Chiefs’ star midfielder David Obua is also determined to put his and his teammates weekend performance behind them and the lanky Ugandan international is confident that Chiefs can turn around their fortunes against Arrows a team Chiefs have defeated in three of their last four league encounters against them.

Obua says on the Amakhosi website that he would like for nothing more than to ensure that by the end of the year they are inside the top five. With three games to go Obua believes the door is wide open for Chiefs to get the maximum number of points from these matches, and use their recent run of results as an inspiration to help them gain strength and get stronger from here on.

Manqoba Mngqithi’s Arrows are unbeaten in their last five games and nestled in an impressive fourth place, six points above their hosts.

Their 2-0 win over Jomo Cosmos at the weekend was the perfect warm up for this meeting with one of South Africa’s most prestigious clubs and, as head-to-head statistics show, Arrows have matched Chiefs win for win and goal for goal in the Premier Soccer League since their promotion to the top flight some seven seasons ago.

LAST FIVE RESULTS

ChiefsDate Opponent H/A Result09/12/07 Santos A D 0-005/12/07 AmaZulu A D 1-124/11/07 Orlando Pirates A D 2-214/11/07 Mamelodi Sundowns H D 0-007/11/07 Moroka Swallows H L 1-2

Arrows08/12/07 Jomo Cosmos H W 2-002/12/07 BidVest Wits A D 1-128/11/07 Thanda Royal Zulu A D 1-125/11/07 Black Leopards H W 1-004/11/07 Bloemfontein Celtic A D 1-1

HEAD-TO-HEAD STATISTICSLeague meetings since 2000/01

2000/01Arrows 3 (Roux, Lakay, Ngaka) Chiefs 1 (Mooki)Chiefs 0 Arrows 0

2001/02Chiefs 1 (Fredericks) Arrows 0Arrows 1 (Mkhize) Chiefs 0

2002/03Chiefs 0 Arrows 1 (Lakay)Arrows 2 (Khanyeza 2) Chiefs 1 (Kannemeyer)

2003/04Arrows 1 (Gulwa) Chiefs 1 (Pule)Chiefs 1 (Fredericks) Arrows 0

2004/05Chiefs 2 (Mbesuma 2) Arrows 2 (Gumbi, Gulwa (pen))Arrows 1 (Phakathi) Chiefs 1 (Radebe)

2005/06Arrows 1 (Khanyeza) Chiefs 3 (Djiehoua, McCarthy, Moshoeu)Chiefs 2 (Chalwe, Motaung jr) Arrows 1 (Khanyeza)

2006/07Arrows 1 (Khanyeza) Chiefs 2 (Nkosi, Spencer)Chiefs 0 Arrows 1 (Smith)