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Opinion: Chiefs can't afford to let this happen against SuperSport?

Kaizer Chiefs will have another big test, as to how far the players have progressed under returning coach Stuart Baxter, who had a shaky start to the season. 

Chiefs offered a glimmer of hope that they can still come right this season after hammering Chippa United 4-0 just after the international break.

Struggling teams tend to turn the corner after international breaks and Amakhosi will have a big question to answer, have they turned the corner?

This promises to be a very good game, if you consider that unlike previous few seasons, where Chiefs relied on set-pieces to hurt teams, they are now trying to open teams up through combination play.

Especially since two big centre-forwards, Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro are both injured and they will rely on the telepathy between Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly to do the damage.

Facing speedy and skilful players, who are not fixed to a particular position can be tricky, as SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams attests. 

"Obviously knowing defenders, they prefer playing against the bigger and stronger strikers that they know,” Williams said in a pre-match interview, as quoted by Soccer Laduma.

"But now they will be facing Khama and Keagan, who move so much – the main thing for the defenders is to track the run. Pick it up early because we know how they want to play and we know they’ve got a lot of pace. But in saying that, we’ve got to stop the supply, if that doesn’t come then they won’t be a threat. It’s what we’ve been working on, so hopefully things can be good for us.”

Chiefs' mobility will certainly cause problems but what will matter is also what will Matsatsantsa do when they have the ball.

If Amakhosi have weakness it's in the aerial duels and that is actually SuperSport's strength. 

The Tshwane side will most likely come up with a game plan that relies on set-pieces, especially when they have big strikers like Thamsanqa Gabuza and Iqraam Rayners, who will both be looking to expose Chiefs' unsettled three-man central defence system.

If Amakhosi wants to avoid an upset, they need to take Williams' words and make it their own, in that they need to cut the supply of crosses and limit conceding set-pieces.

As it was the case against Mamelodi Sundowns, dominating big matches is not important, what counts is to put the ball in the back of the net and defending aerial balls has to be their priority defensively, as that's the potential danger SuperSport poses.

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Kaizer Chiefs Leonardo Castro Samir Nurkovic Stuart Baxter SuperSport


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