“We need to collect maximum points,” coach Ernst Middendorp pointed out ahead of the clash against Free State Stars on Saturday afternoon. “We have to work hard to achieve that against a Stars side that desperately needs points to avoid relegation.”
Kaizer Chiefs will host Ea Lla Koto at Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium this afternoon, 4 May. Kick-off is at 15:00. It will be Amakhosi’s penultimate Absa Premiership match this season.
The Glamour Boys will play in the Nedbank Cup final after the last two league games.
But that’s still in two weeks’ time and that’s why Middendorp first wants to concentrate on the last two league matches, starting with the one against Stars.
“I hear people talking about focusing on the cup final,” he commented. “That’s not the case at all, we need the points and the players are fully aware of that. The most important game is always the upcoming one.”
Chiefs are presently in seventh position on the league table, with 38 points from 28 matches. Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows are in respectively eighth and ninth place with 37 and 36 points. It means that Amakhosi need to get points to finish in the top eight.
Free State Stars, meanwhile, are down in 13th place with 26 points, which is only three points above number last (16th), Maritzburg United. As a result, the Bethlehem-based will also be eying to take points out of this afternoon’s encounter.
The good news is that Erick Mathoho and Lebogang Manyama are fully fit again and travelled with the squad to Nelspruit.
“There’s a fresh breeze in the camp,” said the German coach about the return of the duo. “I’m glad to have Erick and Lebo back – they bring something extra to the camp and, without a doubt, they are very important players in our squad.”