Amakhosi worried about Shabba
NEW-LOOK Kaizer Chiefs are keeping their fingers crossed for star winger Siphiwe Tshabalala to be given the green light to feature in Sunday's MTN8 match against Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria.
Tshabalala sustained a knee injury in the Gauteng Cup two weeks ago, and the Bafana Bafana vice-captain missed last weekend's Carling Black Label Cup, which Orlando Pirates successfully defended after beating Chiefs on penalties.
"There is a 70-30% chance for Shabba to play on Sunday, but we will be guided by the medical personnel," said Chiefs' assistant coach, Doctor Khumalo.
"The medical team will do a fitness test on him on Friday. He is a highly experienced player and it will be great to have him in all our matches this season."
Khumalo also announced that two other regular players - Jimmy Tau and George Lebese - were still injured and would not be available for the much-anticipated clash at Loftus at 3pm.
"It's not a train smash for us because we have depth. All the players we have signed are capable of winning matches for us. We have a solid squad of 27 players.
"We want to do better than last season. Sundowns are one of the big clubs in Africa but we are ready for them and are hopeful to get the season off to a winning start."
Back at training at Chiefs are defenders Jimmy Jambo and Kgotso Moleko.
Khumalo's counterpart at Sundowns, Harold Legodi, said they were also determined to do better than last season to end their four-year silverware drought.
The last time Sundowns won a title was the Nedbank Cup in 2008.
"We went to Swaziland for the pre-season and it went well. We are looking forward to the new season. Sundowns are always under pressure to win - we have to do it for our supporters."
On the acquisitions of top strikers Edward Manqele and Eleazar Rodgers, Legodi said: "First of all, it is not true that we have nine strikers. It's only four, 'Killer' [Mphela], Nyasha Mushekwi, Manqele and Rodgers.
"'Killer' is out because of injury, so I would say we did well by signing Manqele and Rodgers."
Sundowns' Surprise Moriri and Josta Dladla of Chiefs yesterday promised fans that there would be fireworks at Loftus on Sunday.