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Chance For Chiefs To Stake Title Claim 26/04/05
Kaizer Chiefs have a great opportunity to turn up the heat on log leaders Orlando Pirates by beating Wits University in a Castle Premiership match at the Olympia Park Stadium tonight.

A win against the Students and victory against Pirates on Saturday could see Chiefs topping the log by the end of the week.

Amakhosi coach Ted Dumitru was his usual animated self at the Soweto derby press conference yesterday, but for now he will need to make sure that his focus, and that of his players', is shifted entirely to the task at hand tonight - to beat the Clever Boys at the Olympia Park Stadium.

Its not only the vital three points that are up for grabs in tonight's encounter, but the fact that a victory tonight will come as a huge confidence boost ahead of the weekend derby.

Having surrendered a commanding lead in recent weeks, Pirates can now feel Chiefs breathing down their necks and the pressure will build even further in the Bucs camp if Chiefs win tonight.

However, despite Wits' lowly position, Chiefs are going to have their work cut out for them if they are to take all three points on offer. The Glamour Boys did put one over Roger de Sa's men earlier this season in the first round league encounter (Chiefs won 2-1), but prior to that they had not beaten the Clever Boys in four games.

Then of course Chiefs also went on to lose to Wits in the Absa Cup, albeit on penalties following a goalless draw.

With the Students having cemented their reputation as the 'goalless draw kings', Dumitru will be hoping that Collins Mbesuma, whi is only one goal above Sandile Ndlovu on the goalscoring list, returns to scoring form and that fellow striker David Radebe is not as wasteful as he can be at times.

At least Dumitru has goal scoring options from midfield, with Shoes Moshoeu and Simpiwe Mbambo having scored against Esperance on the weekend, while Arthur Zwane is in superb form and must be wondering what he needs to do to earn a call-up to the national side.

Mbambo is unlikely to start against Wits, while it will be interesting to see if Dumitru brings Jabu Mendu, who played so well against Ajax, back into the equation.

The Students, meanwhile, have not won in their last five league encounters, having lost three times in this period, which has seen them slide right into contention for relegation candidates.

With most of their top players always been sold off to bigger clubs, Wits' strength has become their ability to play as a unit and scrap it out for points and they will need to show all of their fighting qualities tonight if they want to stop a Chiefs side who are determined to defend their league title, especially after having had seen their Champion's League dreams come to an end last weekend.

The match kicks off at 20H00.

By Anthony McLennan

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