It will be interesting to see how the Kaizer Chiefs players apply themselves in Saturday afternoon’s last Absa Premiership match against Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Chiefs have not given many decent displays since their qualification for the Nedbank Cup semifinals and have not won in six games in the league.
Now, with the Ke Yona final just a week away when they play the Chilli Boys tomorrow, it will be fascinating to see how they fare. Their rigid displays have been an annoyance for their coach Ernst Middendorp but even when he made a few changes to the line-up, it didn’t change much.
While the players will be looking to impress the coach and guarantee themselves a place in the final match-day squad, they might also be wary of injuries.
This is where Chippa coach Clinton Larsen is looking to capitalise.
“Chiefs have got to be very cautious in terms of players getting injured for the final a week later,” Larsen said after their match against Polokwane City.
“It will then be interesting to see what type of team they put out,” he added.
With relegation still a reality for the Chilli Boys, Larsen knows that nothing but a win will be good enough for his team to be completely out of danger.
For Chiefs, it is all about a top eight finish now and if they lose while Bloemfontein Celtic and Highlands Park win, Middendorp’s side will miss out.
This all makes for a match that will demand top performances from both sides. But even with a win, the Glamour Boys will still finish seventh in the Premiership standings.
Chiefs will also be looking to get a solid performance as part of their preparation for the Ke Yona final where they meet National First Division side TS Galaxy at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on May 18.
There has been talk that the Amakhosi players are saving their best for the Nedbank Cup final but there are no guarantees that they will win that cup and for them it is vital they are also in the MTN8 next season.