Soweto Derby: Key players fit for clash
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will meet at the FNB Stadium tomorrow for their 155th derby match.
JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter is happy to have some of his key players fit ahead of the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates tomorrow.
Pirates and Chiefs will contest their 155th derby and it will be a chance for the Amakhosi to extend their lead above Wits to 13 points.
Baxter says Khune's pedigree will come in handy against their arch rivals, despite not being fully fit.
"We've had such issues with injuries and Itu played on Wednesday and he trained again on Thursday. I'm not saying I'm pleased with his performance but his experience will be useful on Saturday.
He says they have a game plan and they won't focus too much on Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kermit Erasmus.
"Both Kermit and Major are very talented players, so you know that they going to give you some problems in any game, but I don't think we have played any team and said those two players we have to plan around them. No, we don't play that way."
He says he's relieved to have a fit squad. Midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane limped out of the field on Wednesday with a knock but the coach says he has improved.
"At this moment in time we welcome back Siphelele Mthembu, he's 100 percent fit. He is training hard. Yeye was assessed this morning and has improved a lot overnight and we going to give him a fitness test tomorrow (today) and see if he's available."
Chiefs' captain, Tefu Mashamaite echoed his coach's word, saying they will stick to the basics and says they aren't too worried about Pirates striking force.
"I feel like if you are compact, if you keep the shape, then we increase more chances of limiting their space. I mean if you give them space, they are going to punish you. At the end of the day we do our homework, we stick as a team, and play as a team."
Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler says he doesn't want to affect Brighton Mhlongo's confidence by dropping him from the side to face arch rivals Chiefs.
Tinkler says his first choice shot stopper has held the fort impressively and he doesn't see any reason why he should be dropped.
"Brighton has done exceptional well for us and those are the reasons why we need not be making any changes at this stage. You remember he's a young goalkeeper who has taken over Senzo and those are difficult shoes to fill. He's still young and he needs to be given that opportunity."
The match starts at 14h30 at the FNB Stadium.