Absa Premiership

Not Billiat but Katsande is Chiefs' real threat, says Mokwena

Willard Katsande (Gallo Images)
Willard Katsande (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena says they have been working on a way to prevent Kaizer Chiefs from playing through Willard Katsande.

READ: Chiefs never beat Pirates to Billiat - Mokwena

The Buccaneers and Amakhosi lock horns at a sold-out FNB Stadium on Saturday, with the arch-rivals separated by just one place and two points in the Premiership table.

Khama Billiat will be a marked man if he's passed fit to feature against Pirates, but Mokwena believes Katsande poses the real threat for Giovanni Solinas' side.

The Zimbabwe international has established himself as one of the best central midfielders in the country since moving to Naturena from Ajax Cape Town in 2011.

"Willard Katsande is always the focal point and an important part of the axis‚ and the foundation of the team. A very matured player. A very important player for them," he said.

"He's important for the phases of the game‚ because even though they change the line-up‚ the game model and the way they behave on the pitch remains the same.

"You will always find the goalkeepers initiating the build-up phase. You will find the centre-backs splitting‚ full-backs trying to be as high as possible.

"And they want to build from the back‚ and that's where they actually are the most dangerous. Because when they want to start from the back‚ they want you to come and initiate a high press so that they can get the ball behind for runners like Khama Billiat.

"And the person to do that is Katsande. He needs no more than one touch to be able to deliver the ball to Khama. And that's dangerous.

"They will do that. They look good when they do that‚ Katsande is very influential for them when they do that‚ and we expect him to continue to do that.

"And that's something that we have to work on in training‚ to see how we manage such important people and such important phases for them."

Kick-off is at 15:30.