Chippa United are faced with injury worries ahead of their Nedbank Cup quarterfinals fixture against lower-tier side Jomo Cosmos today at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
With the bulk of his key players on the sidelines, Chilli Boys coach Dan Malesela will be confronted with a tough task in choosing his starting 11 against a tricky Cosmos side.
Buyani Sali, Daniel Akpeyi, Justice Chabalala, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Diamond Thopola, Katlego Mashego, Rhulani Manzini and David Zulu are some of the players who have been ruled out.
However, Malesela said there was a slight possibility that Nigerian goalkeeper Akpeyi and skipper Sangweni might be available.
Chippa’s defensive midfielder Sandile Zuke said senior players would have to up their game if they wanted the team to progress to the next round of the competition.
This season marks Zuke’s 10th year in the Premier Soccer League.
Having played for Bidvest Wits, Mphumalanga Black Aces and Kaizer Chiefs, the 29-year-old has vast experience when it comes to cup matches.
He is one of the players that Malesela will be counting on to help take Chippa through to the cup semifinals.
“Some of the guys who will be starting have not been playing,” Zuke said.
“As senior players we just have to help them settle into the game as soon as possible, so that it becomes easy for them.
“I think they are all capable of doing the job for the team – that’s why they are here at Chippa.
“We are playing against a team from the NFD, a very difficult team to play against. What we have to do is to apply the instructions the coach gives us. “Hopefully we will come out victorious.” Zuke said the season had been difficult for the team but he could not pin out which areas were at fault.
However, collectively they must pick themselves up in order to survive relegation.
“These things happen in football. Maybe it’s just a phase that we have to go through,” he said.
Kickoff is at 3pm.