Cavin: We owe Chippa one


Johnson's side will host the Chilli Boys at King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday (15h30) in their first game of 2018, having lost the reverse tie 2-0 in Port Elizabeth.

Chippa recently signed Thabo Rakhale and Nkosinathi Mthiyane from Orlando Pirates, with Phetso Maphanga and Diamond Thopola going in the opposite direction.

They also sold Menzi Masuku to Bloemfontein Celtic and recruited Linda Mntambo and Mxolisi Machuphu from National First Division side Jomo Cosmos, in addition to bringing back Roger Sikhakhane to serve as a technical director and assistant to Teboho Moloi.

Sikhakhane guided Thanda Royal Zulu to NFD honours last term, with Usuthu going on to buy the now-defunct club's topflight status.

"They have signed a lot of players, chucked out a lot of players. They have brought in Roger Sikhakhane, they have sold Masuku who has gone to Bloemfontein Celtic. They brought in Rakhale, so they've made a lot of changes to the team," says Johnson.

"Whether that affects them, we don't know. But we always try and prepare our team because we are playing against a running team, a team that likes to use their technique to get past you. They always play a good, fast brand of football, and under Teboho Moloi they are doing very well.

"So we got our work cut out for us but the big advantage that we have is we are playing at King Zwelithini, they are coming to King Zwelithini this Sunday. We hope that we can put one over them, we owe them, they owe us, because we didn't start good in PE. So we owe them something and they owe us three points."

Usuthu are no longer with defender Vukile Mngqibisa and South Africa Under-23 international Teboho Moerane, while they have loaned Sibusiso Magaqa to Uthongathi FC, Skhumbuzo Mazibuko to Real Kings and Nkanyiso Zungu to Cosmos.

However, they have enlisted the services of Sbusiso Mabaliso from Platinum Stars to provide competition at left-back for Simphiwe Mtsweni.