Former Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu midfielder Ntokozo Sikhakhane has tipped Amakhosi to triumph over Usuthu in the MTN8 semifinal second leg. The two teams met earlier this month in the first leg that ended in a 1-1 stalemate at the Chiefs’ home yard, FNB Stadium.
While the return leg’s hosts, AmaZulu will enter the match with an away goal advantage, the Glamour Boys desperately need at least one goal to keep themselves alive.
Two weeks ago, Usuthu parted ways with coach Brandon Truter who was in charge of the team in the first leg, and replaced him with Romain Folz who’d surely like to begin his era at the club with silverware.
On the other hand, Chiefs have had a rollercoaster ride under the leadership of Arthur Zwane, who took the reins at the start of this campaign. While he is rebuilding the team, reaching the MTN8 final would present an opportunity to end an over six-year trophy drought at Naturena.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this website, Sikhakhane said he’d put his money on the Soweto giants to come out victorious.
“First of all for me, Chiefs will go through to the final,” he told This is Football.
“Before even the cup started I knew the final would be played by Chiefs and Pirates, so I still insist.”
“And also, AmaZulu just changed the coach while Chiefs have been doing well recently, so that might be a disadvantage for AmaZulu, at the same time it’s an advantage for Chiefs because you must know [when] they are playing in KZN, the supporters always come in numbers.”
Sikhakhane, who also plied his trade at Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic, feels that AmaZulu won’t play their normal game if they keep on thinking about their away goal.
“If you are going to play while thinking about an away goal, you won’t play your normal game because you’ll want to defend and you’ll put yourself under pressure,” he added.
“But if I was the coach of AmaZulu, I would advise them to attack from the start because once they attack, they will be putting Chiefs under pressure but if they defend their away goal, they will have a problem.”
The 39-year-old also recognises a threat that could be posed by the Durban-based club, taking into account that a fresh start under a new coach normally inspires players, and that could spell danger for Chiefs.
“But it will be tricky considering they just appointed a new coach, [which] means everyone wants to prove themselves, everyone is doing well in training because one, there is a new coach, two, they are playing against a big team, three, they want to go through to the final,” he concluded.
The match will take place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday with kick-off set for 15:30.