Sun. Jul 12th, 2020

Kaizer Chiefs get Nedbank Cup boost ahead of clash with Royal Eagles

Ernst MIddendorp is happy to report that Kaizer Chiefs have nearly their entire squad fit and ready to feature in the Nedbank Cup Round of 32.

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Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp is delighted to have Zimbabwean playmaker Khama Billiat back in contention for this weekend’s clash with Royal Eagles.

Middendorp’s men will host the National First Division outfit at the FNB Stadium on Saturday 8 February from 18:30. They will have Billiat and new signing Anthony Akumu Agay available for the contest.

Kaizer Chiefs were beaten finalists in last season’s Nedbank Cup, failing to make amends for a dreadful league campaign when they lost to TS Galaxy. Amakhosi remain the most successful club in the history of the competition lifting the cup a total of 13 times. Their most recent Nedbank Cup title came in 2013 under Stuart Baxter.

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Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit on 12 December 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Billiat set to return for Kaizer Chiefs

Billiat has had his participation in Kaizer Chiefs resurgence severely limited by injuries and other fitness-related issues, but Middendorp was pleased to have the Zimbabwe international available once again. The 29-year-old hasn’t featured for the Glamour Boys since December with the coach concerned about his fitness after multiple injuries.

“Khama Billiat and Anthony Akumu Agay are both available for selection for Saturday’s Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash against Royal Eagles,” Middendorp said according to Kaizer Chiefs official Twitter account.

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Anthony Akumu. Photo: Kaizerchiefs.com

Akumu was signed earlier in the January transfer window but has been unable to play for the club due to work permit issues. Kaizer Chiefs were forced to release James Kotei in order to sign Akumu as they had reached the maximum number of foreign players permitted to be registered with the PSL. The Ghanain Kotei had only signed for Chiefs in July and had yet to make his first-team debut for the club.

Khune could make his return in Nedbank Cup clash

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Itumeleng Khune, Captain of Kaizer Chiefs FC celebrates as his team wins during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Amazulu and Kaizer Chiefs at King Zwelithini Stadium on 24 September 2019 ©Gerahrd Duraan/BackpagePix

Goalkeeper and club captain Itumeleng Khune will also be available. Still, Middendorp insisted that the trio would only feature if he was confident they would not compromise the quality of the playing squad.

“It will be the core of the players we have used in the PSL. We had no competitive game last week‚” the coach said.

“[But] we will not set up because everybody deserves [a game].

“If it is Itu‚ Khama‚ whoever – please‚ we have a respectable team and squad for selection, and sometimes players must wait for their opportunity‚ and whenever it is right.”

Joseph Molangoane is the only notable absentee through injury after Kgotso Moleko recovered from a niggle and returned to training this week.

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