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Desperate Chiefs host high-flying Forest

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Desperate Chiefs host high-flying Forest
HEAD TO HEAD: Mafu versus Tsatsilebe

Struggling Mochudi Centre Chiefs will be desperate to improve on their disastrous start to the season when they host unbeaten Black Forest at the Molepolole Sports Complex tonight.

Low on confidence and even lower on points, the free-falling Kgatleng giants have failed to find any sort of consistency this season.

Chiefs have managed just two wins from their opening nine fixtures – a run of results that has seen them drop into the relegation zone.

A 3-2 victory over bitter rivals Township Rollers two weeks ago looked to be the catalyst Chiefs needed to kick-start their stuttering season.

It proved to be a false dawn, however, with last week’s defeats to Gaborone United and Jwaneng Galaxy scuppering any momentum Magosi may have gained from beating Popa.

Whilst it is too early in the season to label Chiefs’ troubles as a full scale crisis, the pressure is rapidly mounting on the club’s new coach, Bongani Mafu.

Indeed, failure to beat premiership new boys, Forest, tonight would push the under-fire Zimbabwean dangerously close to the sack.

Chiefs’ Public Relations Officer, Clifford Mogomotsi was uncharacteristically subdued when he spoke to Voice Sport ahead of the match, saying simply, “It’s a tough game for a team which has been posting mixed results with two back-to-back losses.”

In stark contrast to Magosi’s woes, Forest are thriving in their first-ever season in the elite division.

Along with league leaders, Orapa United, the Mmankgodi-based minnows are the only unbeaten team left in the league and will be cautiously confident of extending that run against Chiefs.

Talking to Voice Sport prior to tonight’s encounter, Forest’s highly-rated young coach, Rapelang ‘Razor’ Tsatsilebe laughed off the suggestion his team would start the match as favourites.

“It’s going to be an extremely tricky game. Chiefs may be down at the moment but they are one of the biggest teams in the country and we will give them the respect that their status deserves,” said the ex-Zebras defender.

It is a reflection of just how tight this year’s league is that Forest currently occupy fifth place, despite having won just three out of a possible nine games.

However, Magoleng’s mentor insists he is not concerned about the high number (six) of games his side have drawn.

“This is our first season in a difficult new league and we are still unbeaten. We are collecting points from all our games, which for me is the most important thing,” said Tsatsilebe, adding that he has a full-strength squad to pick from after goalkeeper Michael James’ recovery from a back injury he sustained against Green Lovers two Saturdays ago.

The game kicks off at 7pm and despite the current points gap between the two sides a close encounter is expected as the experience of Chiefs takes on the exuberance of Forest.

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