Rulani Mokwena’s 7 tests

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New Chippa United coach Rulani Mokwena faces an acid test in his first match in charge of the ‘Chilli Boys’.

Mokwena, who’s on loan from Orlando Pirates until the end of the season, will be on the bench when Chippa clash against Bidvest Wits away in an Absa Premiership game on Saturday.

With Chippa in 11th spot, Mokwena will have to hit the ground running to ensure they secure their safety sooner rather than later.

FARPost takes a closer look at the seven teams Mokwena’s Chippa United will face…

  1. Bidvest Wits (Bidvest Stadium, March 7)

Chippa have lost seven of their 11 matches away, which makes the task even more difficult for the new man in charge. Wits, however, have also not been convincing at home having won 4 and lost 3 in nine matches.

So Chippa may feel they have a chance at Bidvest Stadium, but given their struggles on the road, it’s highly unlikely that Mokwena would get off to a winning start.

PREDICTION: Wits 1-0 Chippa

2. Cape Town City (Sisa Dukashe Stadium, March 20)

Mokwena’s charges will then host the ‘Citizens’ in the Eastern Cape and the challenge here for Chippa would be that they rarely play at Sisa Dukashe, so not so much of a home advantage for them.

The last time Chippa played there was in January when they drew 0-0 against Maritzburg United and the one thing they can count on is the support they get whenever they play in East London, compared to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

PREDICTION: Chippa 1-1 Cape Town City

3. Highlands Park (Sisa Dukashe Stadium, April 4)

Enjoying back-to-back home games, Chippa will next take on Highlands Park and Owen Da Gama’s boys can be very difficult opponents on their day.

But Chippa have a real chance of winning this match considering Highlands Park have been bad travellers this season. Highlands Park have failed to win any of their last 9 matches away, since beating Baroka 1-0 in September. 

PREDICTION: Chippa 1-0 Highlands Park

4. Baroka (Peter Mokaba Stadium, April 12)

This is a match that could go either way. Both teams have been struggling all season and it would largely depend on which team takes their chances on the day. 

PREDICTION: Baroka 1-1 Chippa

5. Stellenbosch (Cape Town Stadium, April 25)

The ‘Stellies’ are looking good of late and with Chippa having to play this match away, it’s a test that Mokwena’s boys may not pass.

Stellenbosch have been improving steadily and instead of fighting relegation, they are looking more at a top 8 finish. The way they set up would mean that they’ve targeted maximum points against the likes of Chippa United, especially playing in their own backyard in Cape Town. 

PREDICTION: Stellenbosch 2-0 Chippa

6. Kaizer Chiefs (FNB Stadium, May 6)

Arguably Mokwena’s biggest test. Chiefs are aiming for the Absa Premiership and have a comfortable seven-point lead over second placed Mamelodi Sundowns. In this penultimate clash of the 2019/2020 season, Chiefs could still be looking for points, as the League race has proven over the years that it usually goes down to the wire. It would, therefore, be a big test for Mokwena and his boys to try take off points from Chiefs.

PREDICTION: Chiefs 2-0 Chippa

7. Golden Arrows (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, May 9)

Mokwena’s last assignment would be taking on ‘Abafana Bes’thende’ at home and interestingly, against a man who groomed him as a coach, Steve Komphela. Mokwena and Komphela go back a long way to their days at Platinum Stars, where Komphela was the head coach a decade ago. This will be a case of ‘Teacher vs Student’ and it promises to be an interesting clash.

PREDICTION: Chippa 1-1 Arrows. 

CONCLUSION

This is a big chance for Mokwena to prove himself as a head coach following a disappointing spell at Pirates (4 wins, 4 defeats & 6 draws).

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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