Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas hopes to have his star players who missed the Telkom Knockout win over Black Leopards at the weekend due to injury back when they meet Orlando Pirates in the much anticipated Soweto derby on Saturday afternoon.
Amakhosi took the field against Leopards without the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro, Lebogang Manyama and Dumisani Zuma who were all nursing various injuries.
“We didn’t play our football in the first half. We had gaps and when we lost the ball we were stretched and Leopards exploited that space very well. But we fixed it at half time. We moved the ball differently. I think in the second half and extra time,”said Solinas of the Leopards win.
Amakhosi won 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 1-1.
Solinas said even Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid would struggle if they were to be without three or more of their key players.
“I knew it would be a tough game without the six key players. Even Real Madrid and Barcelona would also struggle without six of their key players. We didn’t have Castro, Lebo (Manyama), Billiat, Zuma and (Siyabonga) Ngezana. We lost key players in the attacking department. These are players who are used to playing together. You can change one or two players but you keep your structure. But this bad luck is not finished with us. We lost our key players. It is unbelievable.
“I hope these players can recover for the derby. Castro will start full training with the team on Monday. I hope we can recover Billiat as well. Lebo will not be available,” he said.