Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Kaizer Chiefs to miss players as they face Primeiro de Agosto


Kaizer Chiefs will be without a number of key stars when they take on Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto on Tuesday having left behind the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Lebogang Manyama and Willard Katsande, but they do welcome back striker Samir Nurkovic.

Chiefs were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Johannesburg last month, a game they might have won comfortably with more adept finishing.

They could be left to rue that result in what will be a difficult return leg in Luanda, made more tricky without a number of their key players, but defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele is hopeful that the return of Nurkovic will provide the boost they need.

"We should have won that game easily, 3-0 or 4-0,” Mphahlele said. “We missed a lot of chances and, at this moment, we would appreciate anyone who can come and score goals for us.

"We know what Samir is capable of, but we're not going to put pressure on him to say, 'You are back, now you have to score goals for us.' 

"As long as he comes in and plays for the team, even if he gives the other guys [opportunities] to score, we have Khama [Billiat], [Leonardo] Castro, Lazarous [Kambole], [Dumisani] Zuma … even Tower [Erick Mathoho] is also capable of scoring.

"We won't put that big burden on him, we want to also give him space. We know he's been out for too long, so we're not expecting miracles from him.

"But he's been doing well in training and I just hope he continues even in the games. But, like I said, we all know what Samir can do. If he gets a chance, he's going to bury it.

"And everyone is happy to have Samir back because we know how important he is to our team."

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