Chiefs face a daunting task

2013-03-31 10:00

One week, three cities, four provinces!

Do Kaizer Chiefs have enough in the tank to conquer three games in seven days?

The next three trips, to Bloemfontein, Polokwane and Durban will determine if Chiefs have what it takes to win the Absa Premiership championship.

Starting with this afternoon’s clash against Bloemfontein Celtic MFS, Chiefs have it all to do as they will also face Maritzburg United on Wednesday at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Limpopo, a pitstop in Gauteng and another daunting trip to Golden Arrows on Saturday in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.

Living out of a suitcase often gets the better of even the most hardened professionals but, as virtual backpackers, Chiefs have performed relatively well while travelling.

The question remains if can they overcome these short spurts of jet-setting.

Winning this afternoon’s clash against Celtic at Free State Stadium will put Chiefs a step closer to winning the title.

On 47 points already, 15 points from their remaining eight games will be enough to seal the title, as previous winning teams did so with fewer than 60 points.

But the fact that it has been four seasons since Chiefs last beat Celtic away from home means it will not be an easy outing.

Chiefs will again have an opportunity to debunk their day-game hoodoo myth.

But they know that there is no more room for error as they can ill-afford to drop points if they are to win their first league title since 2005.

Although they are still perched at the summit of the log, it is games like today’s that will determine their destiny.

And Celtic will be buoyed by a home record of seven victories, two defeats and a draw.

Just a week ago, Celtic captain Thabo Nthethe was rubbing shoulders with Chiefs’ Morgan Gould in the heart of the Bafana defence, but today they will be on opposite sides trying to spur their teams on.

Nthethe has the daunting task of policing Chiefs marksman Bernard Parker, who is the league’s top scorer on 10 goals so far this season.

Gould, on the other hand, will have his work cut out in trying to stop Celtic’s hotshot striker Lerato Manzini.

If Chiefs, who are unbeaten in their last 10 league matches, are to suffer only their second loss of the season, it would most likely be at this venue, but they have all the manpower they need to continue their unbeaten streak.

But if there is one place where Chiefs supporters will be matched, pound for pound, on the stands, it will be at this venue, where Siwelele will no doubt be out in full force.

Stuart Baxter has changed Chiefs’ fortunes this season, as they play like a well-oiled machine and are a marvel to watch.

On the other hand, Clinton Larsen already has the Telkom Knockout trophy in his cabinet to show for Celtic’s good fortunes as well.

All in all, an interesting game is in prospect.

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