Absa Premiership

Chippa trio returns ahead of Highlands clash

Lerato Manzini (Gallo Images)
Lerato Manzini (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Chippa United have been given a massive boost ahead of their relegation six pointer against Premiership rivals Highlands Park on Friday.

The Chilli Boys will see the return of Menzi Masuku, Siyabonga Ngubane and Rhulani Manzini, for the trip to the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.

The season has entered a make-or-break stage for both sides who need to pick up as many points as they can in order to avoid the drop at the end of the season.

The Lions of the North have managed just one win in 2017, against the erratic Maritzburg United - and have only won four games this campaign.

Since beating the Team of Choice back in March, Highlands Park have picked up a paltry two points from their following six games, and as things stand, they will no doubt need a miracle to remain in the top-flight next season.

Both sides hold the worst form in the league coming into the fixture and remain managerless until the end of the campaign. The visitors from Port Elizabeth stretches back to February against Baroka.

Nonetheless, caretaker coach Mbuyiselo Sambu's and his side will be buoyed by the fact that they still have a lot to play for this season as they are still in with a chance of winning the Nedbank Cup.

Chippa were given a late blow by Ajax Cape Town in their last game, but Sambu added that they were now looking forward to their next game, as a win could push them as high as 12th place.

"The talk after the game was positive, and all I saw were players who want to put their bodies on the line, and we have the next game to prove it on the pitch," he told reporters.

Highlands Park who recently gave Gordon Igesund the sack are desperately short on confidence as it looks more and more likely that the newly promoted side will be heading straight back to the National First Division next season.

However interim coach Les Grobler said his players were responding to his methods after the club struggled under the former Bafana Bafana mentor - as they look to secure three points in order to move outside the drop zone.

"We have a decent team. We have a good team on paper. The players have to believe in themselves, we can do the coaching we want, but it's up to the players to play - we can't play for the players."

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