Baxter's Wydad debut ruled out

CAF Champions League

Kaizer Chiefs will be without Stuart Baxter on the bench against Wydad Athletic Club, the club has confirmed.

Amakhosi face the Botola league leaders in the CAF Champions League semi-final first leg in Casablanca on Saturday and will be without their new head coach.

Baxter was appointed the successor to Gavin Hunt last week but has yet to receive his work permit to be seated in the technical area this weekend.

Assistants Dillon Sheppard and Arthur Zwane will remain in control of the first team, while the club has confirmed Baxter will travel to Casablanca with the team.

"It is a strong opponent, but we have shown in the home game that we can match them," Baxter said ahead of the game.

Through the last decade, only Al Ahly have been able to down Wydad at home in continental club football.

"We have to improve on our first leg and maybe tactically and mentally try and be able to grind a result there that allows to bring them back here and have a go at them.

"It is going to be a challenge, but I am hoping that if we do it properly these two games and hopefully the final will serve as good preparations and a springboard moving into the new season," says Baxter.

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The Briton returns to Chiefs after his first stint lasted three years during which he won the league twice.

He expects competition to be now more difficult than it was when he first took charge between 2012-15.

"This time is a tougher league. I think the league has improved with the bottom teams no longer pushovers now, they are all tight games," he added.

"So, it will be different because the game has moved forward. The game has changed. I remember when I came here the last time and spoke about transitions some people laughed but now it is an integral part of everybody’s game.

"So, I must find out what is new and what I can use that will give us an advantage and that edge. So, it will be an interesting challenge."

Chiefs will take the long trip to Morocco where they have a date with Wydad at the Stade Mohammed V on Saturday.

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