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Why Chiefs won't qualify for top eight [opinion]

@Thatob_
By @Thatob_ | self meida writer
Published 29 days ago - 0 views

Kaizer Chiefs exceeded their expectations last season, being on top of the table for the better part of the campaign but lost out in the title race to Mamelodi Sundowns on the last matchday by two points.

Former coach Ernst Middendorp had failed to qualify for the top eight in the 2018/19 season, where he joined the team midway through the season, succeeding Italian coach Giovanni Solinas.

In spite of being sacked by Chiefs at the end of last season for failing to win the league title, that was within their grasp, Middendorp over-achieved with the type of players he had at his disposal.

That was evident when Gavin Hunt replaced him, as Chiefs struggled for form in the begining of the season, although they are starting to gel as a team after the former Bidvest Wits coach made a lot of drastic changes to the team.

Half-way through the season Chiefs are lying in eighth place on the log with only 18 points and given their habit of missing clear-cut chances and making silly errors at the back, as it was evident in their 2-1 loss to Orlando Pirates over the weekend, are there signs that they can at least finish inside the top eight?

The transfer ban has obviously not helped matters and given that they will be competing in the CAF Champions League group stages, their squad depth or lack thereof will be tested to the limit.

So expect Amakhosi to have a bumpy ride in the Premiership, when they have to juggle playing two competitions at the same time and the Nedbank Cup could be added to their schedule if they can put together a run into the latter stages.

So where does Hunt expect Chiefs to finish come the end of the season?

"At a club like Kaizer Chiefs, you can't be building for the future, that's what I believe. But we're in the situation we're in," Hunt was quoted as saying by Kickoff.

"If you take our points now and double it, you're not going to win the league, you know that. So, that's going to be [difficult]; we're going to have to do the best we can," he said.

So if we take Chiefs' points tally of 18 and double it, it gives you 36 points at the end of the season, hypothetically.

In the PSL you need at least 40 points to guarantee a eight spot normally, as Bloemfontein Celtic finished in eighth place with 39 points last season and again Siwelele occupied the eighth spot in the 2018/19 season with 40 points.

So if Chiefs are not going to improve drastically, they could be fighting for a place in the top eight, with calculators needed in the last matches than actually comfortably securing their place in the lucrative MTN8 for the 2021/22 campaign.

Do you think Chiefs will qualify for the top eight?

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