Kaizer Chiefs - Baroka Preview: Amakhosi out to keep cup hopes alive

Amakhosi will hope for an improved second half as they go into the break level against a struggling Dikwena at the FNB Stadium

Kaizer Chiefs will be desperate to keep their hopes of winning silverware alive when they welcome Baroka FC to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Amakhosi will almost certainly have a point to prove as they look to put aside their recent woes in the league, and coach Steve Komphela will be expected to deliver after reporting an almost clean bill of health ahead of the clash.

Players such as Leonardo Castro and Ryan Moon will once again have an important role to play in a side that has only won two of their last five encounters in all competitions. The return of George Maluleka from injury will add some much-needed solidity and creativity to the midfield.

But despite Komphela and his troops’ intentions, the clash is evenly balanced which could see Chiefs have their work cut out. Chiefs may also have added impetus going into the game as Bakgaga boast an impressive record against them.

In six previous meetings between the two sides, the Soweto giants have been on the losing end on three occasions, winning just once in a victory that came at the beginning of the year.

Baroka though, are an unpredictable entity and this has shown in their recent form.

While the Limpopo-based outfit are undefeated in their last six games, only three have been wins.

Most importantly, Chiefs need to be wary of Baroka’s attacking threat. With the likes of Gift Motupa in the line-up, the Chiefs defensive line will need to be at the very best to stop him, especially having scored the winner against them in the first round of the season.

Saturday’s clash promises to be a feisty affair, and perhaps Chiefs and Baroka’s toughest outing in this year’s competition.

En route to the quarter-finals, Chiefs had to overcome Golden Arrows and Stellenbosch, while Baroka had to fend off struggling Platinum Stars and minnows Steenberg United.

Although, Baroka will be full of confidence going into the clash considering that they are firmly in contention for a top eight position in spite of their recent off-the-field drama, they will surely miss influential midfielder Mpho Kgaswane, who is suspended for the clash.

Nonetheless, with a semi-final berth at stake, neither side will be expected to start on the back foot. Of late, Baroka enjoy building from the back, and so is Chiefs, but whoever dominates the midfield battle and score goals will most certainly win the game.