Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Golden Arrows will be without six players when they square off against Kaizer Chiefs at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday.
Abafana Bes’thende are one of seven unbeaten teams in the top-flight so far this season, thanks to a late rally against Baroka in their last fixture, where they finished with ten men but still salvaged a point.
Suspension and injury wreak havoc in Golden Arrows camp
The man who saw red on that night was Zimbabwean international defender Divine Lunga, who will serve half of his suspension when the Durban outfit squares up against the Soweto giants on Saturday.
The other five players ruled out of the clash are nursing an assortment of niggles.
Boikanyo Khomane and Ntsako Makhubela are both recovering from groin injuries. Lindokuhle Mtshali and Danny Phiri have suffered knocks on their ankles and knees, respectively, while Lungelo Dube is nursing a torn hamstring.
This means that coach Mandla Ncikazi’s options are depleted going into the crucial encounter against Amakhosi, who achieved the league double over his side in the previous campaign.
However, Chiefs look far from the team which appeared to be champions in waiting last season before their infamous bottle job on the final day.
In the current campaign, they have secured a single victory, which included their only goal so far.
Despite their poor form, Arrows skipper Trevor Mathiane has cautioned against underestimating the four-time PSL champions.
“They are still a big team, and we will give them the respect they deserve. But going to play Chiefs, we know that they will want to bounce back to winning ways at our expense. That’s something we don’t want a team that has not been winning to get back to winning ways against us. So we are well prepared to play against them.”
The match between Arrows and Chiefs kicks off at 15:30 (SAST).