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SA SOCCER NEWS

Preview - Chiefs v SuperSport


The free-scoring and rampant second-placed Kaizer Chiefs will take on an inconsistent SuperSport United outfit in a Castle Premiership match at Loftus Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 8.10pm).

After an effervescent and blockbuster success story at the end of last year, expect Chiefs to continue with their spurt towards winning the league title at the end of the season - unbeaten in six matches and spurred on by scoring nine goals in two matches at their new slaughterhouse, Loftus.

Chiefs rangy striker Shaun Bartlett, however, was quick to shrug off the notion that his team has, at last found, their footing.

"We must not fool ourselves into believing that we have reached the summit," said the former Charlton Athletic striker. "We still have another 14 tough and mind-absorbing games to play and if my team-mates think we have already won the title, they are wrong."

Bartlett has every reason to respect United, because if 'Matsatsantsa A Pitori' can play with the usual hyperactive fervour and verve they are renowned for against the big guns, a reasonable amount of optimism might be in the offing.

"We did well last year, but that is water under the bridge. United are a tough side with hard-working players," continued Bartlett.

"They are unpredictable and dangerous at counter-attacks. We want the league title and we must up the tempo.

"Scoring again will ensure that I stand a chance to finish on top of the charts at the end of the season."

United held Chiefs to a 2-2 draw in the first match of the league last year, and they face them again in their first match of the New Year.

The Pretoria-based side has been blowing hot and cold this season. And, after declaring that the league title was the most important thing in his calendar this season, suspended coach Pitso Mosimane must surely be a worried man; especially against an in-form Chiefs side.

Currently in sixth position on 20 points - four behind Chiefs - United's skipper Ricardo Katza is hopeful that they can still realise their dream.

"The league has reached its moment of truth and beating Chiefs will see us clawing our way to the top," said Katza, who scored a brace against Chiefs in the first round.

"We have signed another defender, George Mofokeng from Ajax Cape Town and I am sure he will bring some stability at the back.

"The league race is still wide open and whoever remains focused will emerge victorious at the end of the season.

"They are on-song with their strikers Bartlett and Kaizer Motaung Junior doing well.

"They have gelled well at the most propitious time of the season but we have enough courage to stop them from their tricks."

Key players:

Kaizer Chiefs - Shaun Bartlett
From being the boo-boys' obvious target earlier in the season, Bartlett's recent goal-scoring form has suddenly made him an 'Amakhosi' hero and should he continue with his form, he may well fire Chiefs to their third Castle Premiership title.

SuperSport United - Ricardo Katza
After scoring a brace against Kaizer Chiefs in their opening match of the season, the SuperSport captain will be keen to produce another top-class performance against the 'Amakhosi'.

Match preview by Patrick Baloyi/Backpagepix

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Sunday, January 28
Castle Premiership

Swallows v Premier United 
Kick-off: 3.45pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

January 20
Castle Premiership
Draw 0-0 v Pirates
Venue: Ellis Park

January 14
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v Silver Stars
Venue: Germiston Stadium

January 10
Castle Premiership
Lost 0-1 v Supersport
Venue:
 Loftus Stadium

Sunday, January 7
Castle Premiership
Draw 2-2 v Leopards
Venue:
Germiston Stadium

Wednesday, December 20
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v AmaZulu
Venue: Princess Magogo

POLL
Which areas need reinforcement at Swallows?

Strike force
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Midfield
 9%
Defence
 56%