Chiefs are set to host the Lions of the North at their alternative home ground Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening (18h00) as they look to return to winning ways.
The two sides played to a goalless stalemate in the reverse fixture at the Makhulong Stadium exactly five months ago from today, but this will be their first meeting since Amakhosi’s coaching change.
However, the German is fully aware of what to expect, noting that their training during the week included some specific aspects that would prepare them for a physical encounter.
“Of course, we’re aware that it will get physical, fighting for each and every ball and it’s a certain approach from the opponents’ side,” noted Middendorp.
“But we put that into our training sessions and preparation during the week, starting on Tuesday and we’ll try to get the right players [to do the job], who are good with movement off the ball and good in being successful with one-against-one.”
Middendorp also alluded that strike duo Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro are doubts for the encounter, while also revealing the possible return dates of Happy Mashiane, Lebogang Manyama and Erick Mathoho.
“I can’t guarantee Khama will be on the field; Leonardo started on Monday and Tuesday slow, so I don’t know if how far he’s prepared to go to be the right one [to play],” he added.
“On the other side I’m very pleased to have guys like Rama – when we talk about energy, communication, leadership and bringing the right dimension into it, Philani Zulu back and getting better each day.
“Mashiane is not available; Manyama is not available; Erick Mathoho… These guys need at least three or four weeks more, hopefully by the end of March – that would probably be a blessing to have three players with such a high profile coming back into the team.”