“It will be a match of small margins,” Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela said today at a press conference, held at the headquarters of Hollard, ahead of Saturday’s much anticipated league clash against Mamelodi Sundowns.
The opponent’s coach, Pitso Mosimane, felt that his side would be the underdogs come Saturday. “Out of the least three league matches, we won one, we drew one and we lost one,” he remarked. “This is, for us, not the right time to play Chiefs.”
Komphela didn’t buy Mosimane’s comments, pointing out that the present league title holders and 2016 African Champions League winners can “never be considered underdogs. I beg to differ with Pitso’s sentiments.”
Amakhosi drew their last three league encounters, but are unbeaten in nine: five wins and four draws.
The Chiefs coach did mention that it was remarkable that, again, Chiefs and Sundowns meet each other at the back of a Fifa break. “These breaks can affect the momentum, it’s always better to keep your rhythm, especially when winning,” Komphela said, “but that’s just how it is.”
He also made it clear that the month of April will be crucial: “We will all know where we stand at the end of April.”
Mosimane, meanwhile, made clear that “a game of this magnitude doesn’t need any motivation.”
The Glamour Boys are presently in fourth spot on the Absa Premiership with 36 points from 21 games, while the Brazilians have two points less but have four points in hand.
The Chiefs coach furthermore foresees “a very tight game and the stakes will be high.” He furthermore feels that it’s important that Amakhosi play their own positive football come Saturday, as that’s what the supporters will want to see. “Football is therapy. You want the people to come to the game and enjoy themselves, they want to be entertained.”
“It will be a big match on Saturday,” Komphela concluded. “And it’s going to be played out in middle of the park. That’s also the future of the game, how are you able to operate in half spaces. And, if you get the ball, what do you then do with it.
“Sundowns’ strategy is to play without wingers and, instead, overcrowd the midfield. That way win they want to limit the space there. It will be a crucial battle. Saturday’s match will be won or lost in midfield.”