Chippa United coach Teboho Moloi is preparing to spring a surprise on Kaizer Chiefs when they clash in their much-anticipated Absa Premiership showdown at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth tonight.
The Chilli Boys go into tonight’s encounter with a few lessons learnt from the 1-0 loss to Amakhosi in the Telkom Knockout Cup quarterfinal at the same venue last month.
“There is a lot we took out of our last encounter with Chiefs,” said Moloi.
“While preparing for this game I have been telling my players that if results don’t go accordingly, they shouldn’t be despondent.
“Chiefs might come to the Friendly City beaming with confidence but we want them to know we are also eager to settle a score with them.
“It is of utmost importance that the players show a lot of mental strength and maturity. We have to be prepared psychologically.
“Most teams underestimate us but we have surprised many of opponents in the past and we are the fastest growing brand in the Premier Soccer League.
“Being the only PSL team [in the Eastern Cape] is hard for because we test ourselves against ourselves.
“We will keep preparing ourselves the best way we can going forward.”
Chiefs will come with an added confidence knowing they have one up over Chippa.
“I have always dreaded the feeling of losing to them even from my playing days,” said Moloi.
“We need to make sure that we are on top of our game.”
Chippa’s list of injured players has diminished over the past week with the return of influential vice-captain Sandile Zuke in a defensive midfield position will be welcomed.
“I am happy that my hospital room is clearing up and now it will all boil down to fitness.”
A fitness test before the game will determine whether Nigerian international goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi’s will play tonight.
“He is a soldier for me. When called upon he performs to the best of his abilities.
“But his absence may not necessarily be a worrying factor for us because we have capable [back-up] goalkeeper in Brighton Mhlongo.
“I am not really concerned because Mhlongo came on and did a sterling job against Sundowns.”
Chiefs and Chippa currently occupy sixth and seventh positions respectively on the PSL log-standings.
It is only goal difference that separates them with both teams having collected 16 points from 12 matches.
They are also consistently matched when it comes to their league results as they have both won three and lost two matches in their previous 12 meetings. It all adds to a game of great excitement.