Amakhosi make a return to Africa’s elite club competition where they last participated four years ago
Former Kaizer Chiefs utility player Patrick Mayo says the Soweto giants “do not have the depth to compete against some of the best teams on the continent” and predicts that they will struggle in the 2020/21 Caf Champions League.
Gavin Hunt’s Chiefs are back in the Champions League where they last took part in 2016, when they were eliminated by Ivorian giants Asec Mimosas at the first round stage.
They begin their campaign at the preliminary round against Cameroonian champions PWD Bamenda, who they first visit on the weekend of November 27-29, before hosting their opponents on the weekend of December 4-6.
But with Amakhosi having failed to beef up their squad due to a Fifa transfer ban as well as struggling with injuries to key players, it has led to inconsistent form and Mayo believes that playing in Africa would be too much of a task from Hunt and his men.
“I don’t want to lie to you‚ they are going to struggle in the Champions League because most of the clubs that have qualified there are very strong and have experience of playing in this competition,” Mayo was quoted as saying by Times Live.
“It is pointless to focus on the Champions League and find yourself threatened by relegation at the end of the season. You need to focus more on the domestic league and push to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“They must just forget about it because‚ like I said‚ they don’t have the depth to compete against some of the best teams on the continent who they may even meet before the group stages.”
Much of Chiefs’ focus has been on domestic competitions, having last played in Africa during the 2018/19 season, when they were eliminated from the Caf Confederation Cup by Zesco United in the play-off round on a 5-2 aggregate scoreline after losing both legs.
Interestingly, Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu was one of the scorers for Zesco when they won the second leg 2-1 at FNB Stadium while another chief forward Lazarous Kambole had netted in the 3-1 first-leg victory in Ndola.
But both players are currently struggling to find their feet at Amakhosi with Kambole being a shadow of a player who finished as joint top-scorer of the 2018 Champions League.