This match could not come at a worse time for both sides. Kaizer Chiefs have started their 2020/2021 season completely out of form. On their part, Primeior Agosto lack match fitness as they have not played competitively since March 2020. Who is going to lose this CAF Champions League encounter?
Kaizer Chiefs Probable XI: Khune – Moleko, Mathotho, Cardoso, Sasman – Manyama, Agay, Blom, Ntshangae – Billiat, Castro (4-4-2).
Primeiro Agosto Probable XI: Neblu – Paizo, Ungenda, Dani, Natael – Macaia, Mario – Ngundikama, Akifenwa, Atouba – Mabululu (4-2-3-1)
The first leg of this CAFCL First Round tie will be played at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, on 23rd December 2020 from 6pm CAT.
What is at Stake?
Kaizer Chiefs need to register good results for the first time this season. They have only won one of the eight league matches they have played this season, leaving them languishing in 12th position on the PSL log.
Amakhosi also need to show that they can in fact perform in the CAF Champions League like Sundowns and Orlando Pirates. They have never played in the CAFCL group stage despite their claim about being the biggest football club in Africa (what is Al Ahly?). Their performance in the Preliminary Round against PWD Bameda did not convince many people about Chief’s CAFCL prospects.
The saving grace for Kaizer Chiefs is that we anticipate that Primeiro Agosto will lack match sharpness. The Angolan side last played an official match in March 2020 because the Angolan league was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic. The Girabola is only resuming on 29th December 2020. Primeiro Agosto also appointed Paulo Duarte as their new coach and he has not had time to instil his philosophy into the team.
What will the Match be like?
Primeiro Agosto can count on the fact that they are a familiar feature of the CAF Champions League. They were in the CAFCL group stage last season. And besides the departure of Ary Papel, the Angolan team has maintained the same squad.
Their coach, Paulo Duarte will probably ditch the 4-4-2 for a more solid 4-2-3-1 starting formation. This has been is typical line-up everywhere he has been anyway. Other than this, we do not expect the Portuguese coach to change so many things so soon.
The defence will remain unchanged with the experienced duo of Dani Massunguna and Bobo Ungenda holding the fort. They are in their 30s and will find great company in Kaizer Chief’s aged squad. We will be more interested in the attacking players selected to start. A foreigners attacking midfield trio of Ngundikana (DRC), Akifenwa (Nigeria) and Atouba (Cameroon) will give Primeiro Agosto the best chance to shine by counter-attacks.
Kaizer Chiefs will play just as they have done this season. They will dominate possession and create decent half-chances. The task on, coach, Gavin Hunt’s hand is to solve the problem of goal scoring that he has also pointed out in the past. He rightly said Amakhosi “lack cutting edge.” They have scored only seven goals in eight PSL matches and just the one in the CAFCL.
The Chiefs squad is pretty old. We expect that at least seven of the 11 players who will start at FNB Stadium will be aged 30 years and above. They are really high profile players but they keep showing us that they are not that good. Manyama, Billiat and Castro have not turned on the style. The likes of Khune and Katasande should not even be close to the starting XI.
Amakhosi fans may point out that a guy like Samir Nurkovic is injured but not even his return would be enough to win this match. Gavin Hunt needs to set up his side to play with confidence and take advantage of Primeiro Agosto’s long football break. The best approach with this in mind is to play at a high tempo and be very aggressive in all 50-50 situations.
Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Primeiro Agosto
The lack of goal scoring form will be a huge concern for Kaizer Chiefs in this match. It means that they will not take advantage of the fact that they will control the match, as we anticipate. Paulo Duarte and Primeiro Agosto know more about continental football and will be too happy to sit back and take what they can from the first leg.