Chiefs and United will be tested at week­end


Sowetan - - Dipapadi - By Mark Glee­son

Both Kaizer Chiefs and Manch­ester United are plough­ing a sim­i­lar path of re­vival in re­cent weeks, re-energised after man­age­rial switches and rid­ing waves gen­er­ated by the winds of change.

But the ex­tent of the turn­around for both will be given a much deeper ex­am­i­na­tion as they travel away for key games on Sun­day - Chiefs to the soc­cer-mad re­gion that is the Cop­per­belt in Zam­bia and the Red Devils to Wem­b­ley, where they face Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

New United man­ager Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer has lifted the mood and in­jected some en­thu­si­asm into a side ob­vi­ously drown­ing in a sea of Jose Mour­inho-in­spired mor­bid­ity.

Ad­mit­tedly his ar­rival co­in­cided with a run of not too tax­ing matches and so he has been able to gen­er­ate mo­men­tum. But just how much will only re­ally be­come ap­par­ent, when they face a Tot­ten­ham side with le­git­i­mate ti­tle as­pi­ra­tions and fresh off a mid­week cup win over Chelsea.

Chiefs also started well un­der Ernst Mid­den­dorp, who took over from Gio­vanni Soli­nas last month. They won their first three games with­out con­ced­ing, then had a blip against cham­pi­ons Mamelodi Sun­downs be­fore putting on a rous­ing per­for­mance on Wed­nes­day to beat league-lead­ers Wits 2-0 away.

But it re­mains to be seen how the new-found con­fi­dence man­i­fests it­self in Ndola against Zesco United of Zam­bia in the third round of the African Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup.

Mid­den­dorp in­sists he will not make too many changes to the team and wants to do well in the com­pe­ti­tion. But now that Chiefs are just one or two wins away from in­sert­ing them­selves into the PSL ti­tle race, is there still an ap­petite to do well in African club com­pe­ti­tion in which costs can prove ex­or­bi­tant? Do pun­ters be­lieve the suc­cess­ful runs will con­tinue or that a sem­blance of past stut­ter­ing form will re­turn to both Chiefs and United?

This week­end’s TAB bet­ting pools of­fer a melt­ing pot of matches from the top African club com­pe­ti­tion, the Premier Soc­cer League and all the ma­jor leagues in Europe, where clearer pat­terns are be­gin­ning to emerge in both ti­tle races and bat­tles against rel­e­ga­tion.


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