Home Sport Soccer Billiat will soon be back for Amakhosi

Billiat will soon be back for Amakhosi

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“He last played on December 22 against Maritzburg United in Pietermaritzburg and after that we said we will take him out, and he will join us in training this week.”

THE mercurial Khama Billiat hasn’t featured for Kaizer Chiefs in 2020 thus far, but the Zimbabwean is set to be fit and ready for the much-anticipated Soweto Derby at the end of next month.

That is according to Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp, who delivered the good news yesterday.

Billiat has missed five matches due to injury. He didn’t play against SuperSport United, Cape Town City, Highlands Park, Black Leopards or in Chiefs’ last-gasp 1-0 victory over Lamontville Golden Arrows at the weekend.

Huge impact

His return will no doubt have a huge impact on the ambitions of the high-flying Amakhosi as they continue their pursuit of the Absa Premiership title and Nedbank Cup.

Said Middendorp: “(Billiat) was in a similar programme with Reeve Frosler where they need to play for 45 minutes (to get to their best following injury).

“He last played on December 22 against Maritzburg United in Pietermaritzburg and after that we said we will take him out, and he will join us in training this week.”

Chiefs and Pirates will battle it out for maximum points at FNB Stadium on February 29. The Buccaneers are slowly but surely coming back into the league race equation – they are currently unbeaten under the tutelage of new boss, Josef Zinnabuer. The Sea Robbers are playing with tenacity, verve and fluidity, and have won six matches on the trot in the league.

The Bucs, however, are 12 points behind the log leaders. Chiefs are at the summit of the league table with 45 points, while the Buccaneers have acquired 33 points in 19 outings.

Both Soweto giants are going through a barren run – neither have won any trophies in five years. Chiefs arguably have the tougher task ahead of them in the league – they still have to play Bidvest Wits twice, and face the defending league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns. The Buccaneers will be hoping that Amakhosi will drop points against these sides, while taking advantage by picking up points in their campaign for league honours.

“It can be possible that we can get him right in the next two weeks but if we have the feeling that we need a week more, we will take the week more. But in two weeks or so, he should be integrated into the team,” Middendorp speculated.

The return of Billiat will give Amakhosi a huge boost. Opposition teams seem to have mastered how to deal with the threat of Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurkovic and Billiat will offer them a different dimension in the attacking third. When he is on song, Billiat is a difficult customer to contain. He can be menacing and cause havoc in the defence of opposition teams.

Chiefs don’t play until they face GladAfrica Championship outfit Royal Eagles in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup on February 8 at FNB Stadium, and you can be sure that Chiefs will be aiming to go all the way in that cup competition after falling short in the final last season against TS Galaxy at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

With the league currently theirs to lose, Amakhosi will no doubt be targeting a league/cup double to make their 50th anniversary a memorable one.