Kaizer Chiefs: Middendorp expects stiff challenge from Championship strugglers_1

Kaizer Chiefs and their first Nedbank Cup opponents, Royal Eagles are on opposite ends of the spectrum, as far as their placing in their respective leagues is concerned.

The Glamour Boys have a comfortable lead in the Premiership, with a ten-point gap on their rivals Orlando Pirates, while Eagles occupy the bottom of the Championship standings, four points below the team at second last.

Middendorp not underestimating Kaizer Chiefs opponents

However, coach Ernst Middendorp believes this will not be a determining factor when the two sides meet at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

“You see teams playing in the NFD (Championship) and then against PSL (Premiership) teams and their performance is on a different level. Or you see an NFD team in a cup competition and then you see them in the NFD and you ask ‘who are these guys?’ said Middendorp.
“According to the occasion, in a game you have certain teams always capable of doing something special.”Ernst Middendorp

Once bitten, twice shy

No team will know better than Kaizer Chiefs, when it comes to the threat posed by first division sides in the competition.

The Soweto Giants capped off a miserable season last time out by handing the unfancied TS Galaxy the Nedbank Cup title, as they conceded a late penalty to relinquish their golden opportunity at ending a lengthy trophy drought.

That side was mentored by Dan Malesela, who has had some experience in the Premiership with Chippa United and, this time around, it could be the players who could put their top-flight miles to good use.

“There are a number of PSL (Premiership) players that they have brought in, like Katlego Mashego, and Mpho Maruping, who was with Bloemfontein Celtic. Some of them were with Free State Stars…I saw what they did against Ajax and they probably should have picked up at least a point,” said the German mentor.
“It is not any different in terms of preparing for a team in the PSL, we are not taking it easy just because we are meeting a team fighting for survival in the NFD, we have been very busy looking into Royal Eagles’ last three games.”Ernst Middendorp

The match between Chiefs and Eagles kicks off at 18:00 (SAST).