Ernst reveals key Baccus advantage

Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has explained why the return of midfielder Kearyn Baccus will prove a massive advantage for his side as they look to march into the Telkom Knockout final.

Chiefs go into this weekend's clash off the back of a few days' rest and recuperation amid what has been a fine start to the 2019/20 season, losing just one of their opening 13 games across all competitions.

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Amakhosi will host Maritzburg at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with Middendorp confirming that there are several key options that could return to the side, including Baccus, thanks to the recent FIFA break.

"We're just looking into it, to see what are the options – how far is [Siphosakhe] Ntiya-Ntiya; how far is the young guy [Nkosigiphile] Ngcobo; how far is Njabulo Blom, having watched him in training and in the diski team game [against Orlando Pirates on Saturday]," said Middendorp.

"There is a good direction particularly in terms of Kearyn Baccus being back and fully available for selection. We have also the challenges of looking into how Lazarous Kambole and Khama Billiat come back [from international break].

"I know Lazarous didn't play [for Zambia] and Khama played two games in the space of five days [for Zimbabwe], including travelling, so it's then to find the right solutions and combinations, looking ahead to the game on Sunday."

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The German further highlighted the big boost of having Baccus, who has been sidelined since picking up a shoulder injury against Cape Town City over four week ago, back in contention, highlighting his unique ability to retain possession substantially better than other midfield options.

"Ja, it's definitely something as we know his last game was a few weeks ago. He trained now fully in the international break, and particularly the entire week now," he added.

"Very mobile and flexible and he's definitely a player who gives us an additoonal dimension with this really responsible ball possession rate - it's good; it's good. I'm very happy to have him back."

The 28-year-old is likely to replace Willard Katsande, who has been ruled out through suspension after picking up a fourth yellow card in Chiefs' previous encounter against Orlando Pirates.

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