Sergio dos Santos selects Kaizer Chiefs team he believes can challenge Mamelodi Sundowns

The team that started in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup
The team that started in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup

Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Sergio dos Santos has revealed what he believes is the right team to face defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend.

The 69-year-old, who played as a midfielder for Hellenic, Cape Town Spurs and Chiefs, managed Amakhosi in 1993.

Dos Santos reveals to the Amakhosi team he would select if he were in charge of the team for this weekend's titanic Absa Premiership encounter against a star-studded Sundowns side.

Proposed Chiefs XI (4-3-1-2): Akpeyi, Frosler, Sasman, Cardoso, Mathoho, Baccus, Zuma, Manyama, Billiat, Castro, Nurkovic

READ: How Chiefs could line up vs Sundowns

Dos Santos explains: "Let's start with Akpeyi. First of all he must forget about Khune, don't try to be like Khune or try to prove that you are better than Khune. He must just do what he does best because when he does it, he is a very, very good goalkeeper.

"He must be the boss when he is organising or talking to the defenders he controls very, very well. He must talk, he must play close to the line of the big box, because lots of balls from Mamelodi Sundowns get played through the holes, and he can help the defence by pushing up. He must keep up with the play. He must be calm all the time.

READ: 'Cool Cat' passes judgement on Chiefs keepers

"[Reeve] Frosler, [Yagan] Sasman must not allow even one player of Sundowns to get behind them, that's the most important thing. The second most important thing, they must not tackle unless they know for sure they are going to win the ball. If they are not sure, don't tackle, rather stay on your feet.

"[Daniel] Cardoso, [Erick] Mathoho, they have to work like a team. They have to be very close together, they must communicate all the time, and they've got to be careful of three things. Number one, runners off the ball. They must go with the people when they make the runs, they mustn't stand. Watch the diagonal ball, over the top into the space between them and the full-backs. Be careful they don't make too much space behind them. That's why I'm saying they must play rather deeper and flat.

"The system that Chiefs must play is 4-3-1-2. Number one, the team must play with a flat back four. [Kearyn] Baccus and [Dumisani] Zuma are going to be the most important players because they have to create a platform in the midfield so that [Lebogang] Manyama, [Khama] Billiat, [Leonardo] Castro and [Samir] Nurkovic can attack without having to worry too much what's happening behind them.

READ: Middendorp warns: It could get messy

"So they must form a very good shape. They must support the full-backs. They must play simple football, they mustn't get clever... win the ball and play simple football. Zuma and Baccus must be playing in front of the back four, with Manyama and Billiat one playing off the middle, the other one pushing up. So if one goes the other one stays. If one pushes on, the other one must look to see if he needs to stay and he must stay a little bit deeper.

"But the two of them are the ones that must continue to join up as free players. They can go anywhere they want but when Chiefs loses the ball, one of them must drop into the midfield. Chiefs must be very compact off the ball, when they lose possession they must be compact, they must keep the shape because Mamelodi Sundowns is very good at playing in between the lines. They play very well in the spaces.

READ: Chiefs are kings of route-one football - Benni

"So Chiefs needs to be very tight and compact so that they don't give them the space. That's why the back four must play a little bit deeper, they mustn't push up too much because Sundowns will expose them behind.

"Manyama, Billiat free role. They must go wherever they want to go, especially on attack. But when the move breaks down, if necessary, one of them must try and drop back into the midfield, between Baccus and Zuma and the other players.

"Castro and Nurkovic, Chiefs can't play with two strikers before this, they do that Sundowns is going to expose them. So what must happen is, if Castro is pushing up, Nurkovic can drop back a little bit deeper, like a number 10 or even wide. If Nurkovic does that, then Castro must go up. One of them must stay up, the other one must drop, and they must get into the box. Especially on the near post for crosses. When one goes to the near post, the other one goes wide."

READ: Chiefs defender out to debunk myth

Asked if he thought this team could easily beat Sundowns, he said,

"No you are asking me some mission impossible. They are playing against a team that is at the moment probably the best team in Africa. They've got a very strong squad that has been playing together for a very long time, and they've got three or four players that can turn the magic and make it happen.

"I think it's going to be very, very tight. I don't think it's going to get a lot of goals, but I can't guess who the winner is going to be. It's very difficult to say that team is going to win, or that team is going to lose. It's very difficult. If you push me I would say it's going to be a 1-1 draw."

Kick-off at Loftus Stadium on Sunday is at 15h30.

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Do you agree with Dos Santos and his tactics? Have your say in the comments!