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Kaizer Chiefs coach Baxter issues Billiat injury update ahead of SuperSport United clash

17:29 BST 13/04/2022
Khama Billiat, Kaizer Chiefs, February 2022
The Zimbabwean missed Amakhosi’s last match against TS Galaxy at home and his boss commented on his availability for the next game

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter is ready to welcome back attacker Khama Billiat to the side as they prepare to host SuperSport United in a Premier Soccer League match on Saturday.

Baxter says he is glad to see Billiat back after the Zimbabwean sat out their 0-0 draw against TS Galaxy last week.

That was after Billiat had produced a Man-of-the-Match performance in the previous game away at Chippa United with two assists.

While expressing his joy at Billiat’s return, Baxter has admitted he had no deep appreciation of the forward prior to rejoining the Soweto giants.

This is despite the player having long established himself as one of the best players in the PSL during his Cape Town Spurs and Mamelodi Sundowns days.

“I didn’t see him [Khama] in previous seasons but according to a lot of people who saw him in that time he has made a resurgence and I think his performances have been very lively,” said Baxter as per Sowetan Live.

“To break down a compact defence you need people who are sharp and have that bit of extra technique and pace. We do miss Khama and we have played him in a bit of a false nine role and we can play him coming from the side.

“Whichever role we play him, he always looks lively and we are glad to see him back. One of the problems we have had is that we have had one of two of the front players missing at the same time due to injuries and suspensions.”

Billiat's return boosts Chiefs’ fight for a top-two finish in the PSL race.

They are third on the table, four points behind second-placed Royal AM and 18 off log leaders Sundowns.

Baxter also conceded they blew their chances of putting pressure on Masandawana who are close to claiming a fifth straight league title.

“I think we have completely blown our own chances to put any great pressure on Sundowns,” Baxter added.

“Sundowns have done a marvellous job this year and I think the rest of us are playing for the follow-up places. That said, if they are the champions when they come to us we will give them every respect that a professional should afford each other.”

Amakhosi now host a SuperSport United side that parted ways with coach Kaitano Tembo on Tuesday.

“People usually say you don’t want to play against a team that has just changed a coach because no matter what there will be an effect,” continued Baxter.

“Because Kaitano is both a friend and colleague, it is a shame that he had to leave his post. “Sometimes the club benefits or doesn’t benefit — the pros and cons of that one I don’t know. Whether we will find a fired-up SuperSport or a SuperSport in disarray we should just concentrate on our game to be honest.”

Andre Arendse will head the SuperSport technical bench and will be assisted by Thabo September.