Absa Premiership

OPINION | Billiat magic can do wonders for title chasing Chiefs

Khama Billiat (Gallo Images)
Khama Billiat (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - They have so far coped without him, but Kaizer Chiefs could do with Khama Billiat’s magic back in their ranks as the season reaches its climax.

READ | Can Chiefs maintain grit in title run?

The Zimbabwean has been sidelined since December 21 last year after limping off against Maritzburg United in the final match before the festive season break.

He was officially ruled out with a hamstring injury until the end of January and five games have since passed with Amakhosi claiming three victories, one draw and a 2-1 defeat against SuperSport United during his absence.

Ernst Middendorp's side have managed to hold onto their healthy 9-point lead at the top of the league with a game in hand to boot.

Billiat has now started training with the team again and getting him back to his usual self should be a priority for Chiefs' coaching staff.

A three-time Absa Premiership champion with Mamelodi Sundowns (2013/14, 2015/16 and 2016/17) and a former PSL Player of the Year (2016), mentality wise, Billiat knows what it would take to get a team over the finish line.

The 29-year-old's record speaks for itself, but he has not emulated those performances since his arrival at Naturena.

Injuries have played their part and in all competitions he has scored one goal and boasts a single assist in 12 matches

If he could rediscover that ruthless streak the football fraternity knows him for, then the journey for Chiefs' to their first major title in five years could be less strenuous for himself and his team-mates.

We are yet to see Billiat form a similar partnership to the one he was famous for at Sundowns ('CBD' - Castro-Billiat-Dolly), following his tight-knit combination with Leonardo Castro (now at Kaizer Chiefs) and Keagan Dolly (playing in France for Montpellier).

Castro (7 goals) has been on the scoring sheets this campaign along with Samir Nurkovic (10 goals), who has been a welcome spark in the Chiefs attack since his arrival at the start of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Lebogang Manyama has put in the hard yards for Chiefs and has been looking like his old self again this season.

The foundation has been laid and now fans - including myself - are waiting for Billiat to add that bit of magic we have so often witnessed during his time in the Absa Premiership.

Billiat is likely to get his first taste of football in over a month as Amakhosi shift their focus to the Nedbank Cup as they entertain Royal Eagles on Saturday at the FNB Stadium (kick-off at 18:00).

A run-out against a lowly ranked side is just what could trigger Billiat into finding his form as the league resumes next week.

KAIZER CHIEFS' REMAINING ABSA PREMIERSHIP MATCHES:

Maritzburg United - Saturday, February 15

Orlando Pirates - Saturday, February 29

AmaZulu - Saturday, March 7

Bidvest Wits - Wednesday, March 18

Polokwane City - Saturday, March 21

Bloemfontein Celtic - Sunday, April 5

Stellenbosch - Saturday, April 11

Mamelodi Sundowns - Wednesday, April 15

Bidvest Wits - Friday, April 24

Chippa United - Wednesday, May 6

Baroka - Saturday, May 9

Tashreeq Vardien works at Sport24 and is a paper basketball dustbin champion... Follow Tashreeq on Twitter.

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