Soweto Derby 2014: Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs Preview

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

Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs | Saturday 6 December | FNB Stadium | 15:30

The Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs that was postponed due to the passing of Senzo Meyiwa just over a month ago has been rescheduled for this weekend and will be played in honour of the ex-Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain. The Soweto Derby offers Orlando Pirates a great opportunity to earn some bragging rights over their fierce rivals as Kaizer Chiefs have outshone the Buccaneers all season. AmaKhosi sit twelve points above Pirates, however, the Buccaneers have a game in hand and a win here coupled with a victory in their match against Platinum Stars will close the gap between the Soweto giants to just four points in the Absa Premiership title race. One slight advantage the league leaders will have is that they will be playing this match at the FNB Stadium, which is used as their home ground. Please note this article was written prior to these teams playing their midweek fixtures.





To Win (90mins)
Orlando Pirates 21/10
Draw 21/10
Kaizer Chiefs 13/10

Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates have had an inconsistent season thus far and the death of their captain has done little to help their cause. Pirates sit fifth in the league standings having won only five of their eleven matches and losing three. However, they lie just three points off the second placed team, Ajax Cape Town, and can still surpass Chiefs if they gain some consistency coupled with their neighbours dropping points. The Buccaneers have managed to stay solid defensively having conceded only nine goals but their attack has been far too inconsistent, scoring more than two goals in some matches and then failing to deliver in others. After getting revenge against SuperSport in the league, Pirates failed to claim another three points when they travelled to University of Pretoria last week as AmaTuks held them to a goalless draw. Many fans have been left disappointed with head coach Vladimir Vermezovic this season. After taking over from Roger De Sa, who got Pirates into three cup finals without victory, VV managed to steer the Buccaneers to Nedbank Cup glory at the end of last season. He then bolstered the squad in pre-season but has since failed to find his best starting eleven, chopping and changing players on a weekly basis.

VV has also opted to play the less experienced Brighton Mhlongo in the sticks ahead of ex-AmaZulu shot stopper Philani Zikalala, who was initially purchased in pre-season to be Meyiwa’s number two. Fullback Thabo Matlaba and striker Lehlohonolo Majoro have made returns from injury and could feature against Maritzburg United on Wednesday. Matlaba - who last played against Chippa United on 27 September - has missed Bucs' previous seven games after sustaining an Achilles injury. But his place in the starting eleven could be gone as Patrick Phungwayo has impressed in Matlaba's absence at left-back, even putting in an accomplished display in Bafana's 2-0 win over Ivory Coast in the Nelson Mandela Challenge last weekend. Majoro, who sat out his team's last two matches with an ankle complaint, will give competition to Lennox Bacela and Kermit Erasmus.

Kaizer Chiefs
Chiefs’ three draws in their last four games has opened a window of opportunity for their lead to be chopped and would have also given Orlando Pirates some confidence in breaking AmaKhosi’s unbeaten record in the league this season. After winning their opening eight league fixtures, the Glamour Boys started faltering, drawing with Moroka Swallows, Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City. Their last draw was a goalless stalemate against Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium last Tuesday night. Chiefs missed a succession of chances, and ultimately had Man of the Match Brilliant Khuzwayo to thank for keeping Polokwane out on numerous occasions while also blundering numerous chances at the other end, with the notorious Kingston Nkhatha taking most of the criticism. Chiefs’ defence remains their cornerstone for success with the always impressive Eric Mathoho and Tefu Mashamaite the core of that. Chiefs have conceded just five goals in their twelve matches this season so that impressive stat cannot be pinned on just two players. Khuzwayo has been so excellent between the sticks that Stuart Baxter has said that Itumeleng Khune, who is working his way to full fitness, will have to play second fiddle to the youngster.

VERDICT: Kaizer Chiefs 13/10
The form book is usually thrown out of the window when these Soweto giants meet in what is arguably Africa’s biggest derby. However, it must be noted that Pirates have failed to record a victory over Chiefs in the last five head-to-heads between the sides, with Chiefs winning two of the last three meetings. Although Chiefs haven’t been at their best in attack they have still managed to create goal scoring opportunities on a regular bases. Pirates’ attacking game doesn’t look strong enough to unsettle Chiefs. AmaKhosi have been the better side all season and should once again prove their recent dominance with a victory.

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