Amakhosi begin the second half of their PSL campaign as they try to halt a three-match winless league run
Kaizer Chiefs will be out to revive their Premier Soccer League campaign when they host AmaZulu at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.
But they could face a stern test against an Usuthu side that is enjoying some improved form under Benni McCarthy.
After recently making a few steps up the table, Chiefs have however relapsed, dropping to ninth spot, where they are currently placed.
That is two rungs below AmaZulu, who are four points better off than them.
Playing their 16th league match of the season, even if Chiefs win, they will not overtake Usuthu although they have played a game fewer than their KwaZulu-Natal opponents.
For AmaZulu, victory for them will not take them into the top four and they will gain just one place up to position six where they would displace Cape Town City.
Game Kaizer Chiefs vs AmaZulu Date Wednesday, February 17 Time 15:00 SA Time TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch Online Streaming TV Channel DStv.com/DStv Now App SuperSport TV’s PSL channel 202 Squads & Team News
Chiefs will go into this match with a major boost at the back following the return of centre-back Erick Mathoho from family commitments.
Mathoho was absent when they lost 2-1 to National First Division side Richards Bay in their last match to bow out of the Nedbank Cup at the Round of 32 stage.
Also returning for Chiefs is another central defender Siyabonga Ngezana, who also missed the Richards Bay match as he was suspended.
However, Amakhosi will be without suspended left-back Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya who was red-carded in their last outing.
Midfielder Dumisani Zuma has also been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
No injury or any other medical reports is available from the AmaZulu camp, headed by McCarthy, who has helped them enjoy some good form since he took over in December 2020.
The former Bafana Bafana star would want all his key players available ahead of this big match.
AmaZulu forward Bongi Ntuli never came off the bench in their last match against Swallows in what sparked speculation that he was being saved for Chiefs.
Wednesday’s match comes just over a month after these two sides met in the reverse fixture in Durban.
Interestingly, that was the last time for AmaZulu to taste defeat when they fell 1-0 to Chiefs courtesy of a Samir Nurkovic strike on January 13.
Since then, Usuthu have gone for six straight league matches without losing in a run consisting of three wins and as many draws, the latest being last Sunday’s 0-0 stalemate against Swallows FC.
While AmaZulu are back in action after three days and remain in Soweto, they will be meeting a well-rested Amakhosi side, who goes into this match on the backdrop of nine days without being involved in competitive action.
Chiefs go into this match fresh after they failed to travel to Morocco for last weekend’s Caf Champions League match against Wydad Casablanca.
That period of rest might have been much-needed for the Soweto giants who have not won in their last three league games – two draws and a defeat.
After their Nedbank Cup exit, that stretches their winless run to four matches.