Well-rested Chiefs welcome Usuthu

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Kaizer Chiefs entertain a resurgent AmaZulu in a crucial encounter this afternoon (15:30) at the FNB stadium.

The ‘Glamour Boys’ will enter this contest against ‘Usuthu’, a bit fresh as their scheduled trip in the Caf Champions League to Morocco to face Wydad Casablanca was called off due to the ban imposed on South African travellers by the North African state.

Therefore, Chiefs will have saved enough energy to face an Amazulu that recently locked horns in a pulsating stalemate (0-0) against title-hopefuls Swallows FC.

1. Chiefs statistical analysis

Chiefs are sitting outside the top 8 at position 9, having accumulated 18 points from 15 matches played. With a paltry 15 goals scored and a whopping 17 goals conceded, it’s easy to grasp why they located where they are. A -2 goal difference highlights the nature of their porous defense and an area of great concern.

Furthermore, the scorecard of the last 5 games played in the DStv Premiership is less inspiring either. The form guide (LDDWW) shows 1 win in their last 3 matches and is further compounded by a shock exit in the Nedbank Cup to GladAfica Championship side, Richards Bay United.

2. AmaZulu statistical analysis

‘Usuthu’ have clawed their way back into the Top 8 contention since the appointment of former Bafana Bafana striker, Benni McCarthy. In stark contrast to Chiefs, Amazulu have gathered 22 points from 16 outings.

But it is their attacking impetus that have propelled them to within 7 points of Caf Confederation Cup spot, as they have scored 21 goals and conceded 18 goals with a +3 goal difference.

The KwaZulu Natal outfit also comes into this encounter with a better form guide in the last 5 matches. Their form
show (DWWWD), with 2 wins in their last 3 matches and unbeaten in the last 5 PSL games, suggestive of a team in good form and consistent in their approach.

3. Teams tactical approach

Chiefs have been unstable in terms of their tactical approach, wherein Gavin Hunt has been adventurous and sometimes conservative in his tactical model. Against Pirates, he opted for a 1-4-3-3 attacking style and played a high-line in trying to squeeze the opponent.

In other matches this season, he has somersaulted between a cagey 1-3-5-2 and rather dependable 1-4-4-2 systems.

As for AmaZulu and McCarthy, the playing DNA has been clear from the very onset. With McCarthy, a flexible 1-4-3-3 attacking system has been evident for all to admire. This Amazulu team crave ball possession, apply patient build-up and afford their creative players the necessary space to perform.

4. Predictions

Although AmaZulu form guide is superior to Chiefs, expect a very close tie of high quality. Chiefs narrowly edged Usuthu (1-0) in the first round, and with the advantage of extra days to prepare for this clash, FarPOST prediction is rather difficult to deliver.

RELATED STORY: We are very much prepared for Usuthu – Zulu

By FARPost Technical Study Group

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