Botswana representatives in the CAF Champions League, Township Rollers are hopeful they can get something out of their first leg match against Kaizer Chiefs tomorrow at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Kick off is at 7.30pm.
The team left yesterday by bus with defender, Leutlwetse Tshireletso remaining behind because of an injury.
Midfielder, Dirang Moloi and goalkeeper, Noah Maposa will also not play because of registration issues. Moloi’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC) came late from Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) side, Don Bosco and he could not be registered in time for the match. Maposa was also not registered for the CAF games because city rivals, Gaborone United (GU) were still challenging his move to Rollers. Rollers had the chance to watch Chiefs on Wednesday when they played against Bloemfontein Celtic in the ABSA Premiership match.
The Soweto giants were held to a 0-0 draw. “We managed to watch their game against Celtic. We managed to analyse Celtic’s approach against Chiefs and if we plan well too against them (Chiefs), we can get something out of this game,” Rollers assistant coach, Zechariah Mudzadzi told Mmegi Sport yesterday.
He explained that Chiefs are good building from the back and approaching the box with speed. “If we can stop them from doing that, then we can come out with something. Their danger man is Letsholonyane (Reneilwe) and we need to ensure that he does not find it easy against us,” he said.
Mudzadzi said they would do their best to hoist the nation’s flag high since they will not only be representing Township Rollers’ supporters, but the country as well. Chiefs found it hard to penetrate Celtic at the back with the likes of Bevan Fransman kicking everything on their way. Chiefs’ coach admitted afterwards that it was difficult to penetrate an ‘aggressive’ Celtic defence. Rollers are likely to rely on their usual back four although Obonye Moswate, who missed the game against BDF XI, might be in the mix. Mudzadzi said that despite having trained with the team this week, Moswate is not fully fit. Experienced defender, Tshepo Motlhabankwe is expected to start at right back with Simisane Mathumo and Oscar Ncenga at centre back.
It will be interesting to see who Rollers’ technical team will deploy at left back between Thato Bolweleng and Otlantshekela Mooketsi. Both players have different qualities and Rollers usually alternate them based on the kind of approach they take in a game.
Mooketsi is good and offers many options when going forward. He also delivers telling crosses and is a dead ball specialist. He is, however, always suspect defensively. Bolweleng on the other hand is solid defensively.
Despite his body size, Bolweleng has all the qualities to deal with any speedy or skillful winger. With Moloi not eligible, Boy will be an obvious choice to play behind either Jerome Ramatlhakwana upfront or Jerome Louis.
Against Celtic, Chiefs opted for goalkeeper, Brilliant Khuzwayo ahead of the veteran Itumeleng Khune who is yet to make his return to the starting line up since he recovered from injury.
Rollers should be cautious and avoid committing fouls on the edge of the box as Chiefs have dead ball specialists in abundance. Internationals like Simphiwe Tshabalala and Bernard Parker are very dangerous with set-pieces. With Kingston Nkhatha having moved to Supersport last month, Chiefs looked blunt upfront against Celtic. Parker, who usually plays as a second striker, was thrown upfront as the target man.