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Reports & Previews

Kaizer Chiefs v SuperSport United

Ernst Middendorp will be targeting a winning start in his second stint in charge of Kaizer Chiefs, when SuperSport United make the trip to Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Amakhosi recently parted ways with coach Giovanni Solinas - who lasted just four months in the hotseat - and moved quickly to bring in a replacement for the Italian last week. As Middendorp is a registered South African citizen, Chiefs have not been forced to wait for a work permit.

Middendorp previously coached the Soweto giants between 2005 and 2007, before going to manage the likes of Maritzburg United (twice), Golden Arrows, Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United.

And, Middendorp feels he has a clear advantage at Naturena, having worked alongside or coached against many of the players currently on the club's books.

"The advantage is that some players I have worked with at the club and some I have played against, so I know them," he was quoted as saying by SowetanLive.

"For me it's a journey of 16 games until the end of the season. There is a clear understanding that the points must come."

However, Middendorp's task has not been made any easier by injuries to Ramahlwe Mphahlele (knee surgery), Erick Mathoho (torn ankle ligaments) and Ryan Moon (fractured eye socket), while Willard Katsande misses out due to a one-match suspension.

Having played 14 games thus far, Amakhosi head into Wednesday's clash trailing their opponents by just one point in the Premiership standings, although they have played two more times than Matsatsantsa.

Chiefs' most recent result, a 2-1 defeat at Golden Arrows, saw Leonardo Castro score their solitary goal after Limbikani Mzava had twice netted from the penalty spot in the first half.

SuperSport, meanwhile, will also be looking to bounce back from defeat in their most recent league outing, a 2-1 Tshwane derby loss at home to title-chasing Sundowns over a week ago.

SSU coach Kaitano Tembo has steered his side to three draws, one win and one defeat in their last five top-flight fixtures and a win against Chiefs on Wednesday could see them rise as high as third place, based on goal difference.

Tembo's options are limited, though, due to a growing injury list. However, he does expect an almost fully-fit squad at his disposal at the start of the New Year.

"Injuries are getting worse and worse but we will soldier on," Tembo told SuperSport TV after the loss to Sundowns.

"We have to go back tomorrow and see who is available and who is not, who is injured and who needs treatment and then we will take it from there, but it has been a concern because we don't have Dean Furman. He made some difference in the team.

"At the end of the day we need to soldier on and use the players that we have, by January we will probably have all our players."