Amakhosi are in Conakry without an outright striker, a situation the coach feels could play against them
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt feels that despite his side needing a scoring draw against Horoya to reach the Caf Champions League quarter-finals, their Guinean opponents remain favourites to proceed.
It will be the two sides’ final match of their Group C campaign which they go into tied on eight points each as they fight for the remaining last-eight slot from their pool. Group leaders Wydad Casablanca have already qualified.
Having previously visited Horoya with Bidvest Wits last year and lost 2-1, Hunt is aware of the challenge awaiting Chiefs on Saturday.
“We are expecting a very difficult match. In South Africa, it was complicated [0-0 draw],” Hunt told the media as per Horoya’s website.
“I already know this team from Horoya, we played against it with Bidvest in a small stage [Caf Confederation Cup]. This time it will be difficult in a big city, but we will try to get a result. Khama Billiat is a very important player, but I’m waiting to see if he can play or not. It is true that this is going to be a difficult match. Otherwise, I consider Horoya AC as the favourites of this meeting.”
While Billiat could play, Hunt will be without an outright striker in this match as Samir Nurkovic is suspended while Leonardo Castro is ruled out due to injury.
The Amakhosi tactician calls this a “big blow” and he says they will have to make a plan to counter the grim situation.
“Obviously we have both our strikers not here which is a big blow from that perspective because we really do not have a number nine to play,” Hunt told Chiefs’ media.
“So we have to make another plan with Castro being out and Nurkovic not here. In these kinds of conditions sometimes you need a number nine to play but anyway we will make a plan. We have to try and plan around that and change the team’s shape a little bit.
“The plan is obviously if we can score a goal we will put them under huge pressure and they will have to score two. A scoring draw looks the way to go but football doesn’t work like that. We will have to see. This team [Horoya] hasn’t been beaten here for a long time. We are positive and we have to try and score a goal which is the most important thing.”
Weather conditions in Conakry, where it is very hot, were initially a concern but with the match being an evening kickoff, Hunt does not expect his side to struggle.
“Thank goodness this is a 7 pm kickoff. If we had to play in the middle of the day it was certainly going to be tough and both sides would struggle. So at 7 pm I think it’s ok,” said Hunt.