Swallows and Chiefs will be like 'two lions fighting'
Daniel Akpeyi has warned Moroka Swallows it would be perilous to underestimate Kaizer Chiefs in their Soweto derby at the Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Kick-off is at 3:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)
Amakhosi are still licking their wounds after suffering a 1-0 defeat to arch-rivals Orlando Pirates last time out which continued their poor start to the season.
Molefi Ntseki paid the price for winning just three of his opening eight league matches at the helm and Cavin Johnson has only guided the Glamour Boys to one victory in his first three games since being handed the reins on an interim basis.
Chiefs have lost six times already this term and occupy 10th place, 10 points adrift of league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who have four games in hand.
However, Swallows goalkeeper Akpeyi insists Chiefs won't just roll over for them this weekend and expects Johnson's side to fight tooth and claw for the three points on offer.
Next Kaizer Chiefs Match!— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) November 22, 2023
⚽️Moroka Swallows vs. Kaizer Chiefs
🗓Sunday 26 November 2023
🎟R60 - Ticketpro, Spar #Amakhosi4Life #Khosified pic.twitter.com/PyFesfq1QY
The Dube Birds are four points better off than their Soweto neighbours in fifth spot, having have made a solid start to life under Steve Komphela, with a 0-0 draw at Polokwane City most recently extending their unbeaten run to five outings.
"Playing a team that is sort of struggling is a difficult thing, so it's not going to be an easy one on Sunday because they are looking for points everywhere and we are looking to sustain our position on the log table," Akpeyi said.
"So, this is going to be a case of two lions fighting, but we are ready for what we expect to come on the day and we will prepare for it well."
Chiefs defender Given Msimango revealed that the mood in the camp is great despite their current woes and believes Johnson will soon get the best out of his players.
"It's another derby for us, a very important game, a must-win game. Of course we have not been in a great run of form of late but in the camp the spirits are high and we are looking forward to the next game," Msimango said.
"We have been working hard, trying to rectify our mistakes... get the combinations right as well in every department. The feeling is good in the camp... great atmosphere.
"Everyone is responding well to what he [Johnson] is trying to do. The results will speak for themselves. Obviously, as a coach he needs time as well with the players, so that the philosophy just gets stuck in the heads of the players, in terms of what he wants."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kagiso Malinga: The 28-year-old winger has featured regularly under Komphela this season, although he's yet to get off the mark in 10 appearances. Malinga caused Manuel Sapunga some trouble in the Polokwane goal with two wicked shots from range in the second half and Chiefs will be wary of allowing him time and space to shoot this weekend.
Itumeleng Khune: The 36-year-old goalkeeper wasn't even in the matchday squad for the opening three games, but has been drafted into the team of late following a series of high-profile errors from Brandon Peterson. Khune has yet to keep a clean sheet in four appearances, although he only conceded one goal each against SuperSport United, Cape Town City and Pirates, making a couple of crucial saves in the Soweto derby.