Chiefs' new signings handicapped

Carling Black Label Cup

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has admitted that the club will have to juggle their way through this weekend's pre-season match against Orlando Pirates.

Chiefs have had to run their pre-season programme concurrently with their preparations for the CAF Champions League final against Al Ahly on July 17.

As a result, expectations from their season curtain-raiser against Orlando Pirates has been curtailed, with Baxter revealing the struggles in trying to get the squad – including the new signings – on the same wavelength.

"We are monitoring all of our players and their fitness levels very carefully, especially the lads that are coming from COSAFA, the Olympics or a couple of months break," Baxter told the media regarding their new signings.

"It is a difficult time to get everyone at the right level so we won’t be taking any chances, but we are very hopeful that we will have a few of them [new signings] on the field."

On Sunday, Amakhosi face Pirates in the Carling Black Label Cup with the fans having made their voices heard in as far as who they want to see out of the pitch is concerned.

See all Chiefs' confirmed signings who may or may not feature in the CBL Cup

The Chiefs XI sees Itumeleng Khune as the most-voted-for player in goal, behind Erick Mathoho, Daniel Cardoso, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Happy Mashiane in the back four.

22-year-old youth development graduate Lebohang Lesako replaces Willard Katsande, and is paired alongside Njabulo Blom, Kearyn Baccus and former junior teammate Sabelo Radebe in midfield.

Leading the attack will be Samir Nurkovic and Khama Billiat, though both are doubtful ahead of the clash with the former recovering from a knee injury and the latter having shown flu-like symptoms on Thursday.

Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Sibusiso Mabiliso and Reeve Frosler, who were with the national Under-23 squad at the Tokyo Olympics, are also unlikely to feature upon their return to the country this weekend.

Another three players Njabulo Ngcobo, Austin Dube and Kgaogelo Sekgota were involved at the COSAFA Cup that ended 11 days ago, while Keagan Dolly and Cole Alexander only joined this week.

Brandon Petersen, Sifiso Hlanti and Phathutshedzo Nange are the other new signings that could get a run out on Saturday.

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