The Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Donald Khuse wants to see some of City’s stars feature in the game, believing that beating a stronger City side would be a more noble achievement and be good preparation for the tough season ahead: “City must field all their big stars against us. We want to beat the real big guns that City have brought out to play in the challenge. All credit to Pirates for winning, but they played against a diluted City side. There were not many of their big guns playing.
"We are appealing to City to ensure they field all their big stars including their new signings (such as Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz and Gareth Barry). This Challenge series is a vital part of our pre-season training and we want to face the best both City and Pirates have to offer."
However Hughes will not feature all of his stars again for the Vodacom Challenge match, despite the players needing match practice together it is also vitally important that they are not rushed into a competitive game against the very motivated Chiefs. The players need a balance between protection from injury and being ready for the opening of the Premier League season. No doubt there will be cameo appearances in the Vodacom final, but we are more likely to see the stars getting more field time in the friendly match against Barnsley on the 1st of August. Adebayor will certainly not feature as he arrives in Africa on Tuesday morning, and Santa Cruz has still not fully recovered from a recent operation: “I do not want to risk him unless I am sure he is fit. I want him to be ready when the season starts.”
However for those who are fully fit Hughes expects a tough work out against the Chiefs as they did against the Pirates: “It was a good exercise for us playing a team like Pirates. It was tough and what I expected. This is the reason I was keen to come on this tour as we need this type of competition to help prepare in our pre- season. The difference was in the conditioning and Pirates were in a better physical condition. I expect more of the same from Chiefs.”
Mark Hughes has confirmed that Barry should take part in the match, however it is too soon for striker Tevez who has yet to complete a full training session after picking up a knock: “In terms of bringing players into the team for the Chiefs game, Gareth [Barry] will take part tomorrow, but Carlos [Tevez] hasn’t had a training session yet because of bruising to his heel. He will train today [Monday], so it may be a little bit soon for him tomorrow. Hopefully he will be ready for the final on Saturday though.”
Mark Hughes has also revealed today that promising defender Nedum Onuoha will not be leaving the club despite reports that the England Under-21 International could be used in a deal to bring Joleon Lescott to City: "Nedum is one of our finest young players, he was outstanding for us last season, and I am not looking to move one of our prize assets away from Manchester City."
The Kaizer Chiefs have recently held the Iranian National Team to a 0-0 draw and have beaten PSL champions SuperSport United as well as Bay United to give new coach Vladimir Vermezovic an unbeaten record in their preseason to date. They will still be without goalkeeper Khune and winger Tshabalala who played well in the recent Confederations Cup competition. The Chief’s new signings are expected to feature at some point in the match with former Bafana striker Nkosinathi Nhleko and midfielder Mthokozisi Yende hoping to play.
The third match of the Vodacom Challenge will take place on Thursday. The derby between the Chiefs and the Pirates will see the winners face City in the final on Saturday.
During a press conference ahead of the match Mark Hughes has defended the clubs position regarding the John Terry transfer saga. Amidst reports that Chelsea will be filing an official complaint against City regarding the courting of the England captain hughes has claimed that it was Chelsea and not City that brought the transfer bid into the public domain and so there is no case to answer to. See Hughe's response below: