Chiefs are on a good run, but scoring goals remains their biggest challenge as they have failed to find the back of the net in six matches this season
The Glamour Boys have enjoyed a good run in the last five league matches, losing just once and winning three in the process.
They are currently placed sixth on the standings, four points behind second-placed Cape Town City, and a win over Baroka will see them move three positions up.
However, their record against Baroka isn’t so impresive, and they are still waiting for their first win over the Limpopo-based outfit in competitive matches.
It’s worrying that Chiefs have failed to register a single victory over Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele in the two teams’ last four meetings as two matches went in favour of Kgoloko Thobejane’s men, and the other two ended in draws.
Baroka are one point behind Chiefs going into the encounter, and should they pick up all the points on offer on Sunday afternoon, they will move ahead of their Soweto opponents and into third on the log behind Cape Town City.
While Chiefs have failed on a number of occasions to score enough goals to beat Baroka, they will draw inspiration from the fact that Baroka have been leaking goals all season.
In fact, they have been scoring as much as they been conceding (22) with zero (0) goal difference and after 17 league matches.
Komphela though, will have to hope for a solid performance from his charges, especially at the back because Baroka hardly fail to score when they play in front of their home fans.
Thus far, Thobejane’s men have failed to score just once at home, and interestingly, the majority of their goals (27.3%) have come in the final 15 minutes of their matches.
Gift Motupa leads Baroka’s goalscoring charts with six goals, and Chiefs must keep an eye on him throughout the game, although one of their dangermen of the first half of the season in Siphelele Ntshangase will be wearing the gold and black shirt this time around.
Ntshangase was Baroka’s best creator with three assists in 10 matches prior to his departure to Naturena, but his former teammates know him well enough to prevent him from playing his free-flowing football.
In Ntshangase’s absence, Talent Chawapiwa has stepped up to the plate to take over as the club’s best creator with three assists to his name.
Chiefs have Siphiwe Tshabalala and Gustavo Paez as their leading goalscorers with three goals each this season, but Dumisani Zuma has grown in leaps and bounds since making his debut earlier this season.
Amakhosi fans will be looking at their starting line-up with huge interest, to see if Leonardo Castro makes the cut against Baroka.
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The Soweto giants will also welcome the return of George Maluleka and Siyabonga Ngezana from suspension, and how this will affect the balance of the team remains to be seen.
Teenage Hadebe, Daniel Cardoso and Siyabonga Ngezana’s partnership has yielded a whopping nine cleansheets this season, six of which came away from home, and this means Erick Mathoho is likely to be relegated to the bench for this encounter.
Kabelo Mahlasela and Tsepo Masilela will miss the encounter with injury, while Bernard Parker is also doubtful after picking up a knock over a week ago.