Rama stresses the stakes for Chiefs

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Both teams trail Absa Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by seven points with 10 matches left heading into their showdown at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.

Midfield enforcer Willard Katsande is doubtful for the contest with a facial fracture, while forward Dumisani Zuma has been ruled out of the equation with a groin problem.

READ: Komphela - It's not only Chiefs and Downs

Fellow attackers George Maluleka (calf) and Gustavo Paez (hamstring) are also under observation with minor knocks.

“It will be tough, but we need the three points to stay in contention for the league title,” Rama told his club's website.

He added: “We just need to play as a team. We are still very much contenders for the league title.”

Mphahlele made his return from a long-term knee injury in the 3-0 win over Golden Arrows in the last-32 of the Nedbank Cup this past Sunday.

The Bafana Bafana international was naturally pleased to feature in only his fourth match of the season.

“It felt good to be back,” he said.

“Football has taught me so many lessons and one is to be permanently on my toes.

“I didn’t know beforehand that I would play against Arrows, but a player needs to be ever ready.”

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The former Sundowns skipper had to bide his time as the offensive-minded Joseph Molangoane impressed in his absence.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy as Joseph Molangoane has been in top form.”

Mphahlele conceded he had to adjust to coach Steve Komphela's revised formation, which now employs three centre-backs, five midfielders and two upfront.

“I had to get used to the new formation in the first half. However, the coach spoke with me during the half-time break and he gave me the licence to join in attack if that was safe to do so.”

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