How Kaizer Chiefs can taste the sweetness of CAF Champions League or kiss it goodbye

Dillon Solomons , Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs will travel to Durban on Saturday March 4 to take on Richards Bay in a Dstv Premiership encounter at King Zwelithini Stadium.

Boosted by their derby victory over Orlando Pirates, Amakhosi will be hoping their inconsistency issues do not stand between them and three points come Saturday.

Failure to maintain consistent performances has seen Chiefs remaining fifth on the log, five points behind SuperSport United who are currently occupying the CAFCL spot Amakhosi are after.

With nine matches to go in the league, if they do not find consistency in their results, Chiefs must kiss their CAFCL spot goodbye.

Even the CAFCC might remain a pipe dream for Arthur Zwane’s men, unless they win the Nedbank Cup.

Zwane is well aware of his team’s Achilles heel, and how it might crush his dream of Champions League football.

“I’ll be honest with you, we play to win every game,” Zwane told iDiski Times when he was asked about his goal for this season.

“Even though results have been fluctuating, but we play to win every game and we would love to be out there [at the top] because I have tasted the sweetness of being in the Champions League and that is the only time we can grow as a team and our players as well will grow from participating in such a demanding competitive Champions League.   

“For us, it will be good for our supporters, good for the club. The history of this club means we have to compete at that level year in and year out.”

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The fact of the matter is

Kaizer Chiefs have failed to string together three wins in a row in their last 11 matches in the league, which is something they will need to start doing if they are to realise their end goal.

On top of Arthur Zwane’s list of priorities, making sure that his team concedes fewer goals will be important.

Amakhosi concede an average of 1.14 goals per match, according to FootyStats.Org.

Their leaking defence has seen them concede 24 goals in the league, which is more than any other team the league’s top eight bracket.

The less they concede, the more they will win matches. They will be hoping for Brandon Peterson to keep more clean sheets after the promise he has shown in their recent matches.

Edmilson Dove, will also be key for Amakhosi in that regard, the experienced Mozambican international has been dishing out man of the match performances in Amakhosi’s heart of defence.

When it comes to scoring goals, Chiefs are not bad at all.

They average 1.10 goals per match, which has led to them scoring five goals in their last five matches.

But if you look at their 11.48 shots average per game, they should be scoring more. Their conversion rate of 10% is a total let down. Scoring more goals should improve their situation.

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In a nutshell

A win against Richards Bay is a must for Kaizer Chiefs, it will boost the team’s confidence as the league heads towards business end.

Failure to win on Saturday will see their CAFCL dreams take a huge knock.

Fan views on the game

Isaac Leeuw believes Amakhosi will not qualify through their league position.

“They’re not going to qualify for CAF via the league position. They are too inconsistent to qualify. Their only chance is by winning the Nedbank so they can go to the CAFCC.”

Luzuko Bhut’Thole Siko seems to agree with him.

“Chiefs will always play calculated football; we depend on the teams ahead of us to lose. When we expect the team to rise it disappoints. You can’t really count on Chiefs with their inconsistency.”