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Earlier this week, Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt confirmed that Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro are available for selection.The duo is returning from injury with Billiat having been out since January while Castro has missed the team’s last five games.Their return is what Hunt needs as the pair has vast Champions League experience from their days at Mamelodi Sundowns.
Chiefs will be welcoming back Lebogang Manyama who was suspended for their last match against Orlando Pirates.Also back is goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune who is returning from compassionate leave following the death of his sister.
They are back and will make a big difference to the team, they will give us a little bit more. Being fit to play for 90 minutes I don’t think so but at least we have them available for the game.”
If Billiat plays, having previously been a thorn in Wydad’s flesh during his days at Mamelodi Sundowns, it would be his first Champions League group stage match in Chiefs colours.
Reports suggest that Wydad Casablanca, who have already qualified for the quarter-finals, have sent a second-string squad and are also without head coach Faouzi Benzarti because of Covid-19 restrictions.
Their travelling party to Johannesburg will have to quarantine for 10 days upon return to Morocco while regular players will do duty in the upcoming matches after the Chiefs game.
Hunt feels that has not weakened Wydad and the players he will come up against will give them a hard time because they want to prove that they deserve regular game time.
“It doesn’t concern me those type of things. I think players who have not been playing would want to prove a point,” said Hunt.
“It is sometimes harder to play against those type of players who haven’t played much. They have a good squad and they are a big club. We know their history, they have been in the Champions League final a couple of times, they are a top club.
“We looked bad when we played them in the first round. If you look at that game, you would think we were that bad because we lost 4-0 because of their quality. I don’t see any drop in their standards, I actually see an increase because the players would want to prove a point.”Chiefs are third in Group C with five points, the same as second-placed Horoya who they visit after the Wydad game for their final match of this round.