While most players in the top flight kick back and relax during the international break, there is no such luxury for those in the Kaizer Chiefs camp, as have to prepare for a clash against one of their biggest rivals.
Amakhosi take on Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday in the second edition of the Shell Helix Ultra Cup.
No “friendly” matches between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns
The match is billed as a friendly encounter, but Chiefs midfielder, Willard Katsande anticipate no such approach from either side.
The veteran believes it’s a perfect opportunity for the players to stay match fit in the middle of what has been a rather lengthy break.
“This cup is the perfect way for us to keep in match shape, we have been doing well recently and we don’t want to lose our momentum,” Willard Katsande said on the Chiefs website.
“It is good to have this fixture against Sundowns. We are going to approach it in a competitive way and give the fans something to shout about.
“This is a chance for some of the other guys to feature. The season is very long, and we will need everyone at some point, so it is good that the guys will get to play in a game like this against a strong team.”
Katsande expects strong XIs from both sides
Katsande is one of those players who will be eyeing a start against Sundowns, having been starved of action in the current season.
The 33-year-old has appeared in just half of Kaizer Chiefs’ eight games in the season so far, only playing the full 90 minutes once.
He will be aiming for another opportunity to prove his worth to coach Ernst Middendorp against what he expects to be a strong Mamelodi Sundowns XI.
“In front of a big crowd, it is the best way to test yourself. Over time you will get injuries and we will need to draw on the entire squad that is why games like this are important.
“This is a big fixture between us and Sundowns and I know they will bring their strongest team. This will make the game very tough, challenging and competitive.”
Katsande featured in the inaugural edition of the fixture, where Sundowns ran off victorious through a goal from Jeremy Brockie.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 15:00.
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