How Will Komphela Line Up Against Township Rollers?
Kaizer Chiefs take on Township Rollers in the Maize Cup today and we take a look at what Steve Komphela’s starting XI could look like.
So far, Amakhosi have brought in three players, Bongolethu Jayiya, Philani Zulu and Teenage Hadebe, who are expected to come into the team at right wing, left wing and centre back, respectively. Meanwhile, Lewis Macha has joined Baroka and Siphelele Mthembu, Lucky Baloyi, Edward Manqele and Camaldine Abraw have all been released, while Siyanda Xulu has been awaiting his clearance from the club.
Should the Glamour Boys line up in the same formation (according to average positions) as they did against Bidvest Wits on the final matchday of the 2016/17 season, Komphela will make use of a 4-1-3-2 formation.
On that day, his starting line-up consisted of Itumeleng Khune, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Cardoso, Tsepo Masilela, Lorenzo Gordinho, George Maluleka, Hendrick Ekstein, Willard Katsande, Emmanuel Letlotlo, Gustavo Paez and Ryan Moon. However, given that it’s a non-competitive match today, we could see Komphela try to fit in his new signings and give younger players a chance to show off their skills.
In goal, Itumeleng Khune is still the club’s first choice goalkeeper, while Brilliant Khuzwayo has been linked with a move to Orlando Pirates. However, the young shot-stopper, Bruce Bvuma may be given a chance to show off his skills.
In the centre of defence, Teenage Hadebe could be handed his debut in place of Daniel Cardoso, while Lorenzo Gordinho, one of Chiefs’ outstanding players last season, is also in line to retain his starting role, with Erick Mathoho being the option.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele was also a mainstay last season and Tsepo Masilela may be given the chance to run out and try to replicate the former Mamelodi Sundowns man’s performances on the left flank. Sibusiso Khumalo and Philani Zulu, who is naturally a left winger, are the other options.
Meanwhile, Willard Katsande is the only real option for the defensive midfield position, but Wiseman Meyiwa has been training with the first team and could be considered for a starting role. Siphiwe Tshabalala, who won post-season awards for both the club, as well as at Monday’s PSL awards, is the best bet to line-up on the attacking midfield role, while Hendrick Ekstein could also be given a chance to make the attacking midfield role his own ahead of the new season.
George Maluleka has often occupied a slightly deeper role and could take over the role to add balance to the midfield if Komphela deems it necessary. William Twala, Edmore Chirambadare, George Lebese and Philani Zulu could play on the left wing.
On the right-hand side of the attacking midfield trio, Jayiya is the favourite to get given his chance to show off his skills and prove that he is the right man to fill that position. William Twala and Joseph Malongoane are the alternative options.
Meanwhile, up front, Gustavo Paez was a consistent threat in the second half of the season and could get his chance to cement his place as a supporting striker, while he could be partnered by either Emmanuel Letlotlo, Ryan Moon or Bernard Parker.
It goes without saying that Steve Komphela’s plans for his team are far less predictable, with today’s game simply being an opportunity for him to assess the players at his disposal and take his preseason training methods to the field. He will be keen to experiment with new signings as well as younger players that wouldn’t otherwise get many chances to take to the pitch once the season gets underway.
Furthermore, if Chiefs were to make the final, as they are expected to do, Komphela will want to keep his best players fresh for that game. Predicting his starting line-up is not an exact science, but there are certainly a lot of options that the former Maritzburg United coach has at his disposal.
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