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Solinas will keep mixing things up


Giovanni Solinas is set to continue with his rotation policy as Kaizer Chiefs gear up to face Zimamoto.

KEEPING IT FRESH: Giovanni Solinas, coach of Kaizer Chiefs is determined not to burn out his players, so he will keep rotating his squad.

Giovanni Solinas is set to continue with his rotation policy as Kaizer Chiefs gear up to face Zimamoto in the second leg of the Caf Confederation Cup today.

Amakhosi are in pole position to advance to the first round of the Confederation Cup, after they last trounced Zimamoto 4-0 in the first leg of their preliminary round fixture.

Khama Billiat was menacing, netting a hat-trick to hand Amakhosi a comfortable advantage. Kabelo Mahlasela put the icing on the cake for Chiefs. Meanwhile, Solinas made wholesale changes in that encounter utilising the likes of Siphosethu Ntiyantiya, Aro Andrianarimanana, Mahlasela, Eric Mathoho, Teenage Hadebe and Virgil Vries. The Italian rested Itumeleng Khune, Godfrey Walusimbi and Dumsani Zuma.

And indications are that Chiefs supporters can expect more changes today when Amakhosi visit Zanzibar.

“Yes, we will make changes because we played three games in seven days. In seven days we travelled from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth and from Port Elizabeth to Durban. Now we will travel back to Johannesburg and from Johannesburg to Zanzibar,” a morose Solinas said while speaking with the media on Saturday at the Princess Magogo Stadium.

His mood was the result of Chiefs suffering another setback in their pursuit to challenge for PSL honours this past weekend. They succumbed to their fourth defeat in the league this season at the hands of Golden Arrows, which leaves the Glamour Boys now five points behind the leaders, Orlando Pirates.

“It is not only about the game, but it is about the travelling. We need rotation because we need fresh legs. It is not possible to play the same players in such a short space of time,” the coach said.

Solinas is likely to rest the likes of Billiat, Leonardo Castro and Willard Katsande. The trio have featured regularly for Amakhosi despite Solinas’ rotation policy. The Italian has built the spine of his team around these players.

Billiat has appeared 20 times for Chiefs across all the competitions. On top of that the striker has been colossal for Zimbabwe in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Katsande has also played an identical number of games to Billiat while Castro has been on the field of play for 16 games in all the competitions.

Amakhosi are also likely to be without the services of Ramahlwe Mphahlele in today’s encounter. He came off injured against Abafana Bes’thende and is a doubtful starter.

“I don’t know about Rama’s situation because I’m yet to receive the medical report from the doctor. He said he twisted the knee. We hope nothing is serious.” Solinas concluded.

Daniel Cardoso is favourites to take over at right-back if Mphahlele can’t recover in time for today’s tussle. He replaced Mphahlele against Arrows and also started in the first leg against Zimamoto.