FOR the second time, in as many months, the two high-flying Zimbabwean coaches in the South African Premiership — Kaitano Tembo and Norman Mapeza — come head-to-head in a league match tonight.
The game is at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Mapeza has led Chippa’s revival as they have moved to 10th place on the league table.
When he took over last month, they were in danger of falling out of touch in the survival fight and the former Galatasaray player has previously credited Tembo with providing him with inspiration.
‘’We’ve been friends (since playing together for the Warriors). We’ve been talking ever since I arrived here, and the guy knows much more about the PSL than me,” said Mapeza.
“He’s been here for nearly 20 years; he’s a former player of SuperSport and now he’s into coaching, so he knows much more about what has been happening here than me.”
Tembo has revived a SuperSport United side which was in less than ideal condition when he took over from Eric Tinkler near the end of the 2017-18 season.
The former Matsatsantsa player has transformed an ageing side into one brimming with young talent.
He has also won this season’s MTN8 and kept SuperSport United in the hunt for CAF Champions League football.
“Most definitely as a team we would want to go back there again. It is good for the players. It is good for the brand as well. We did well the last time we were there,” Tembo said.
Mapeza won the first duel in Port Elizabeth last month.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe international forward, Khama Billiat, has the highest market value in Kaizer Chiefs’ squad.
Amakhosi fans are dreaming of returning the Absa Premiership title to Naturena as they enjoy a seven-point lead at the top of the table.
He may not be contributing much to Chiefs at the moment due to injury problems, but Billiat is still the most valuable player in the Amakhosi squad despite an underwhelming first half of the season.
Another player who has seen precious little game-time in recent months due to injuries is Itumeleng Khune, who remains one of the most expensive players on paper.
- Khama Billiat (R32 million) — 12 matches, 1 goal, 1 assist — The former Ajax Cape Town forward was suffering from fatigue last time we heard from coach Ernst Middendorp.
- Itumeleng Khune (R19,2 million) — 2 matches, 0 goals, 0 assists — Has been injury-prone lately, something that has caused him to lose his position as the club’s number one.
- George Maluleka (R13,6 million) — 18 matches, 0 goals, 4 assists — The Tembisa-born midfielder was strongly linked with a Scottish move towards the end of last season.
- Ramahlwe Mphahlele (R13,6 million) — 2 matches, 0 goals, 0 assists — The 29-year-old has been battling injuries and has found it difficult to get back his starting place.
- Daniel Cardoso (R13,6 million) — 20 matches, 5 goals, 1 assists — The defender many fans love to hate, he is the designated penalty-taker in the Glamour Boys squad.
- Daniel Akpeyi (R10,4 million) — 16 matches, 0 goals, 0 assists — Same as Cardoso, though he has saved the club many times especially during penalty shootouts.
- Willard Katsande (R10,4 million) — 14 matches, 0 goals, 1 assists — He is in top form at the moment and recently made it clear that he can still play for another three years.
- Philani Zulu (R10,4 million) — 3 matches, 0 goals, 0 assists — The former Maritzburg United man has fallen down the pecking order despite making 19 appearances last season.
- Leonardo Castro (R9,6 million) — 13 matches, 8 goals, 2 assists. To think he was almost released, the Colombian is one of the reasons the 50-year-old club is top of the table. — southafrican.com/Kick-Off.