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Chippa’s Nwabali to miss Chiefs clash

A goal-fest seems highly unlikely in East London.

Chippa United’s Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali will miss Saturday’s DStv Premiership meeting with Kaizer Chiefs, as he is suspended after picking up a fourth yellow card of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Cape Town Spurs.

The suspension will deprive the Super Eagles shot-stopper of a chance to impress against one of his reported suitors, though it seems more likely the 27 year-old will move overseas, if he leaves Chippa at the end of this season.

Saturday’s game is expected to take place in front of a raucous capacity crowd at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London, though this is also a match with a solemn air, played in the wake of the tragic killing of Amakhosi’s 24 year-old defender Luke Fleurs in a hijacking on Wednesday evening.

Chiefs would have been entitled to request a postponement of the game, but both the Premier Soccer League and Amakhosi told Phakaaathi, at the time of writing, that the match is going ahead as planned.

Fleurs had yet to break into a Chiefs defence that has been providing pretty much the only joy for Amakhosi fans in 2024.

As stubborn as Amakhosi are at the back, they are horrendously meek in attack, with just three goals this year, with two of those coming in the 3-2 Soweto derby loss to Orlando Pirates.

Chiefs head coach Cavin Johnson suggested after the midweek 1-0 loss at home to Stellenbosch that he would be making plenty of changes for Saturday’s match against Chippa.

Mthethwa dropped?

That could well see Sibongiseni Mthethwa drop out of midfield after a disappointing display on Tuesday against his former club, while Johnson must also decide what to do with his attackers, who have drawn a blank in five of their last seven matches.

Chippa are still also without Namibian forward Elmo Kambindu after his red card in the Nedbank Cup win over Ravens, meanwhile, and like Chiefs, the Chili Boyz have only scored 19 goals in 22 league matches this season.

A goal-fest, therefore seems highly unlikely, with a repeat of the goalless draw that these two sides played out at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the first round a far more plausible scenario.  

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