Chiefs look to bounce back against Wits

Kaizer Chiefs will look to bounce back from a weekend defeat when they take on Absa Premiership title hopefuls Bidvest Wits at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 9 January 2019.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm CAT.

Wits claimed a third straight win (and a fourth from their last five unbeaten matches) when they defeated Free State Stars 2-1 away on January 5, with Elias Pelembe scoring a decisive second-half goal.

The Clever Boys have taken 13 points from eight home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 2-0 win over Chippa United just before the festive-season break last month.

Chiefs suffered their fifth league defeat of the season when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Mamelodi Sundowns on January 5. The Soweto side has lost four of their last seven outings in the Premiership.

The Amakhosi have claimed 10 points from eight away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 2-1 loss at Golden Arrows in early December.

In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and Wits have met in 65 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have claimed 31 wins compared to 13 for the Clever Boys, while 21 matches have been drawn. The University-based team has won three and lost 18 of their 33 home matches in the rivalry.

When the teams met earlier this season, Wits claimed a 3-1 win at FNB Stadium thanks to goals from Deon Hotto, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Gift Motupa. The Clever Boys are unbeaten in their last three league matches against the Amakhosi.

Previous line-ups

Wits’ line-up from their 2-1 win over Stars on January 5: Keet, Mere, Mkhwanazi, Johannes, Nonyane, Gyimah, Alexander, Dzvukamanja (Claasen 66'), Hotto, Pelembe (Weidlich 83'), Majoro (Murray 70').

Chiefs’ line-up from their 2-1 loss to Sundowns on January 5: Vries, Walusimbi (Hadebe 46'), Cardoso, Booysen, Ntiya-Ntiya, Katsande (Mahlasela 71'), Maluleka, Ekstein (Parker 46'), Manyama, Billiat, Castro.

What the teams are saying

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt

“It was a real backs-against-the-wall [performance], we reaslly suffered here tonight,” said Hunt after the 2-1 away win over Stars.

He added, “We really had to fight for those three points with a new team that is learning about me while I learn about them.”

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp

“Our performance we showed the right behaviour based on a really good attitude, there’s no doubt about it - from each and everybody,” said the German after the 2-1 loss to Sundowns.

“We created chances, options to score. We dominated the game definitely by far. Then losing it in such a way, ja I’m just not finding the right words.

“I don’t know how many times we were ten, five metres in front of the goalkeeper, not scoring and not making the right decision. That’s one issue.”

Bidvest Wits key players

Deon Hotto – The Namibian winger put in a man-of-the-match showing in Wits’ 2-1 away win at Free State Stars this past weekend and seems to have recovered the peak he showed at the start of the 2018/19 season.

Lehlohonolo Majoro – The former Kaizer Chiefs player will be eager to perform strongly against the Glamour Boys, even if his scoring form this season has not quite lived up to the high standards he usually sets.

Kaizer Chiefs key players

Virgil Vries – Namibian goalkeeper Virgil Vries made a mistake which cost his team the game against Sundowns this past weekend. Yet with Itumeleng Khune out injured for the rest of the season, Chiefs will need Vries to recover his form and confidence ASAP.

Khama Billiat – While Chiefs have net been free scorers this season, Khama Billiat continues to impress as the ‘go to’ man in their attack. The Zimbabwean will look to run at Wits’ defence every chance he gets on Wednesday evening.