Kaizer Chiefs to play CAF match without Khama Billiat, Itu Khune, Eric Mathoho and Lebohang Lesako

by Festus Allasseh
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Kaizer Chiefs will be without four stars when they face Swallows in their derby clash at FNB Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Chiefs have been on a dismal run in the DStv Premiership with just two wins from the last 14 games and have suffered from a host of injuries of late as the squad face the challenge of travelling across the continent.

Their progression to the CAF Champions League quarter-final has been a positive of their challenging campaign in head coach Gavin Hunt’s first season but the return to training of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi will be a welcomed boost.

Bruce Bvuma has deputised in the last two league outings in their absence and while it’s unclear if the veteran keepers are ready to return to the starting line-up, the 25-year-old admitted he’s enjoying the opportunity.

“Of course I am happy, I won’t lie. I am happy that now I’ve been given a chance to play even though the results didn’t come out the way we wanted, but I am happy for the opportunity,” Bvuma told the club’s media department.

“I believe that I am ready and every one of the goalkeepers here at the club if they all get a chance to play, I believe that we can all perform because of the way we work. We are all ready for opportunities.”

Khama Billiat, Eric Mathoho and Lebohang Lesako remain on the sidelines while their fourth confirmed absentee is Njabulo Blom after he received his marching orders in the 2-1 defeat to TTM last week.

Bvuma admits the squad is aware of their precarious position as they remain in danger of being sucked into a potential relegation play-off scrap if results aren’t forthcoming for the final four games as they are five points off 15th placed Chippa United.

“I know we are not in a good position, we’re aware of it but it’s not like we are not working hard or giving it our all to be in a better position,” he admitted before adding their travelling schedule affected their domestic season.

“Having seven days before the game, we don’t normally get this to work on everything in training, we’ve been playing CAF, travelling up and down in Africa, we had games like every third day.”

“Now that we have seven days to prepare I feel like we are more ready, I’m not saying we not prepared when we have a game every three days but this time around, with more time to work ahead of Swallows – it feels great.”

Tenth-placed Chiefs host fifth-placed Swallows – who are chasing CAF Confederation Cup qualification – in the Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium this afternoon at 17h00.

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