Those of you who have followed the site since its inception know that I watch a lot of football from all around the world. I was contracted to start this site because the old SB Nation Soccer community manager was a reader of my old site All Things Footy, covering the entire world of football, and found out I was a Spurs supporter. I'm currently the "World Football" editor at SBNation.com, meaning everything that isn't the Big Four leagues in Europe and MLS. Having said that, I do not know anything about the South African Premier League.
I know that Tottenham Hotspur's opponents on Saturday, Kaizer Chiefs, are one of the big clubs. I know that Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs' big rivals who are also participating in this tournament, play them in a massive derby. I know who Siphiwe Tshabalala is. And...that's it. Research time!
It appears that Kaizer Chiefs have just made four new signings that they will be wanting to give a run-out to in this tournament. Two of those players, left back Keegan Ritchie and central defender Tefu Mashamaite were called national team quality in the article. 21-year-old striker Knowledge Musona, a Zimbabwean international and the team's leading scorer, is reportedly in talks about a move to the Bundesliga. So, if you're going to pick four players to keep an eye on while watching our opponents, keep an eye on Tshabalala, Ritchie, Mashamaite and Musona.
Right. Now on to what you really came here for.
Rumor has it that an ankle injury will keep Luka Modric from playing. Who thinks this is a legitimate injury? No one? Yeah, I thought so too. Sounds like one of those deals like when Steven Gerrard gets called up for an England friendly.
To the surprise of no one, Steven Pienaar and Bongani Khumalo should get some serious playing time. With Luka Modric out, I'd really like to see Niko Kranjcar get some playing time in the center of midfield to see whether or not he has what it takes to fill Luka's shoes on a temporary basis. Also, with Sandro out, we'll probably get to see Jake Livermore get some playing time as he tries to win either a shot on the roster or a loan to a Premier League club. Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, and Andros Townsend are among the other players fighting for a roster spot, while Giovani dos Santos should get a little time off after his national team adventures.
If you didn't see, here's Brian Mechanick's players to watch in the preseason.
The game takes place at 2 pm BST, 9 am EST tomorrow. It's not on TV in the United States, but you can catch it on ESPN in the UK. The fact that it's on TV in the UK and in South Africa (and probably the Middle East) means that we should be able to find some...alternative...means to watch the game. We will have a match thread tomorrow, just like we do during the regular season.
Completely made up predicted starting XI that will probably be wrong as hell: Friedel; Naughton, Khumalo, Dawson, Walker; Rose, Livermore, Kranjcar, Townsend;
Kane Crouch, Keane
Edit: Oops, looks like Harry Kane just played in a reserve friendly against Nottingham Forest, in which he scored two goals.