Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter says Platinum Stars will be disappointed if they do not win the league ahead of their crunch top-of-the-table clash at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.
“This is probably Platinum Stars’ best chance ever to win the league,” Baxter said at a training session in Naturena on Thursday.
“Their players will be massively disappointed if they can’t transfer that into a title of some sort.”
Chiefs sit at the summit of the table on 55 points, six ahead of second-placed Stars.
With three league games remaining after the fixture, a win would almost certainly guarantee them the title.
However, they will be without the services of their captain and keeper Itumeleng Khune for the clash, after he picked up his fourth yellow card in a league game against Moroka Swallows on Saturday.
Siphiwe Tshabalala would likely wear the captain’s armband in his absence.
Stars are the only side to have beaten Chiefs in the league this season after they defeated the Soweto side 2-0 in Rustenburg in November.
Platinum Stars had recently stated they did not see themselves as title-chasers, but Baxter dismissed those suggestions as simply a way to avoid high expectations.
“We can all try and slip under the radar and coaches say a lot of things, but I don’t think the players will buy into that,” he said.
“Their chance is now, and defeat against us would be a massive blow to them.”
Meanwhile, Stars coach Cavin Johnson said his team had the ability to pull a few surprises.
“Chiefs are able to build a team in a different way and you’re able to plan for them,” Johnson said.
“You know exactly who their players are and they cannot play players nobody knows.”
Baxter said his side would have to be prepared for all possible outcomes.
“If it means the game on Sunday is an important game, it is still only one game in a line of important games,” Baxter said.
“Motivation will be high, desire will be high and we’ll want to take three points, but we’ll need to keep going.”
Friday: Maritzburg United v Moroka Swallows (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium).
Saturday: Black Leopards v University of Pretoria (Peter Mokaba Stadium), Free State Stars v AmaZulu (Goble Park), Bidvest Wits v Orlando Pirates (Mbombela Stadium), Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic (Pilditch Stadium), Chippa United v Ajax Cape Town (Phillipi Stadium).
Sunday: Kaizer Chiefs v Platinum Stars (Peter Mokaba Stadium), Golden Arrows v SuperSport United (Princess Magogo Stadium).