Friday, 8 March 2013

Soweto Derby Preview

Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates | Saturday 09 March | Soccer City | 15:30

This Soweto derby is one of the most important recent clashes, as Chiefs lie just three points above Pirates at the top of the table, with Pirates having a game in hand. The match will be seen as a six-pointer for the respective teams. With just Platinum Stars threatening to challenge the Soweto giants for the title, this game will play a major role in deciding who is crowned PSL champions come end of the season. Please note these sides are yet to play their midweek fixtures at the time of writing this article.


To Win (90mins)
Kaizer Chiefs 15/10
 Draw 2/1
Orlando Pirates 7/4

Kaizer Chiefs
The most impressive feature of Chiefs’ league campaign has been their excellent unbeaten home form, winning eight of their 11 games and drawing three. They have also lost just once in the league this season, 2-0 away to Platinum Stars. Amakhosi shared the spoils with Wits last weekend in a 1-1 draw at Soccer City. It was the second time the teams had met in a week, with Chiefs having sent Wits packing in the Nedbank Cup, winning 3-0. Clive Barker’s men were a much improved outfit this time around and scored through Ryan Chapman in the ninth minute. In the 28th minute, after already creating numerous chances, Chiefs found the back of the net with Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s through ball to Siphiwe Tshabalala, who took full advantage of a mix-up by Wits.

Letsholonyane has been one of the main ingredients in Chiefs’ rampant run this season. With the ability to hold the ball, control the game, pick out attacking players with slick passes and provide his own attacking impetus with bursts of pace and powerful strikes, Letsholonyane will be Chiefs’ go-to man during the derby. The midfielder will focus on feeding balls to his attack-minded teammates but will face a tough task in dominating the midfield as he has to battle against an equally prolific Pirates duo with the likes of Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa set to start. Along with ‘Yeye’, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro are among players who have benefited from a rotation policy introduced by Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter. Despite the influential trio's decreased role, Amakhosi have gone from strength to strength, with good recent wins over Free State Stars, Black Leopards and Bidvest Wits (Cup).

Bernard Parker has been directly or indirectly responsible for almost 50 percent of Kaizer Chiefs' League goals so far this season. Parker is not only still finding the net (10), seven other goals have also come from his passes. That’s 17 goals out of Amakhosi’s total of 37 – nearly half – provided by Parker. Chiefs have scored 10 goals more than their opponents so far in the league.

Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates have qualified for the second round of the CAF Champions League following their 4-0 victory over Djabal FC in Comoros last weekend. The Mighty Buccaneers triumphed courtesy of goals from Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Ndumiso Mabena, Takesure Chinyama, and a late penalty by Onyekachi Okonkwo. Pirates move to the next round with a 9-0 aggregate victory where they will face Zanaco from Zambia. Unlike Chiefs, Pirates’ creative strength is on their flanks. Their main chance creators have been Sifiso Myeni and Daine Klate, who have each set up four goals for their teammates. With strength and a dangerous left foot in his armoury, striker Collins Mbesuma will hope to crack the nod for a starting place during the derby but may be used as an impact player for the Buccaneers.

VERDICT: Draw 2/1
In head-to-head stats, Chiefs have won 64 of the 146 matches played between the two since 1970, with Pirates recording 35 victories in that time. In recent matches the draw has been the most common result, with four of the last six ending in stalemates. This match can go either way but the most likely result is always going to be a low scoring draw, just as they played out in the first round 1-1 scoreline.

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Written by @Wayde_D for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

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