Two weeks ago, McCarthy lost his number one pairing in central defence, Johannes and Taariq Fielies
Coaches, they say, love having selection headaches, so Cape Town City’s Benni McCarthy is likely to have a really painful one as he contemplates who to play in the centre of defence against Kaizer Chiefs tomorrow night.
The two teams meet in a PSL fixture at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg (8.15pm kick-off), and it’s a game City can ill-afford to lose.
But, with Chiefs boasting Leonardo Castro and the in-form Ryan Moon in attack, and veterans Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala as sprightly as ever, City’s defence will have to be on top of their game to keep Amakhosi at bay.
The former Bafana Bafana striker’s migraine comes courtesy of the excellent performances turned in by Kwanda Mngonyama and Tshepo Gumede in the club’s last two fixtures – 1-0 wins over Wits in the Nedbank Cup and Young Buffaloes in the Caf Confederation Cup.
Two weeks ago, McCarthy lost his number one pairing in central defence, Johannes and Taariq Fielies. In their absence, new man Mngonyama and Gumede produced solid displays.
Johannes has one more game to sit out, but Fielies is back in contention. Now, the question is whether McCarthy will stick with the form men at the back, or does he bring Fielies back into the team at the expense of either Mngonyama or Gumede? McCarthy will have to think deeply and carefully about the decision because he is fully aware that, ultimately, whatever he decides, it will have a major impact on the outcome.
“They’ve (Chiefs) done well in recent times, which is why they find themselves close to the top,” said McCarthy. “We know we can expect a more open match than the last time we faced them. It was a time when they weren’t doing so well, which made the match a little bit cagey, but this time around they are in a much better place and they are playing at home. But this adds to the importance of the match for us, because we want to get back into that second spot, though we have to depend on one or two other results as well.”