Our writer previews the highly anticipated Soweto derby, which takes place on Saturday afternoon.
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will lock horns in the much-anticipated Soweto Derby at the FNB Stadium on Saturday. Amakhosi are top of the Absa Premiership table – ahead of Golden Arrows on goal difference – while the Buccaneers are third on nine points.
The sides met earlier this season in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup, with Chiefs emerging as 2-0 winners on the day thanks to goals from Eric Mathoho and Lewis Macha. Prior to that meeting, Chiefs hadn’t beaten Pirates in their last five clashes – the Bucs winning on two occasions with three draws. History and current form usually count for nothing in every Soweto Derby and the two clubs would be aware of this. Who’ll prevail at the FNB Stadium on Saturday?
Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs | Saturday 29 October | FNB Stadium | 15:30
To Win Match
Orlando Pirates 17/10 | Draw 19/10 | Kaizer Chiefs 17/10
Orlando Pirates are undefeated from their five matches played in the Absa Premiership this season, but Muhsin Ertugral’s side have won just twice, having drawn their last three matches. Those wins came against Golden Arrows, winning 3-1 at home thanks to a hat-trick from Tendai Ndoro, and beating Ajax Cape Town 2-1 at the Cape Town Stadium, with Ndoro bagging a brace.
A goalless draw at home to Cape Town City followed, while they conceded in the 91st minute to draw 1-1 with Platinum Stars at Orlando Stadium. In their last league encounter against Polokwane City, they needed a late equalizer from Ndoro to snatch a 1-1 draw at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Ertugral’s side were back to winning ways in the Telkom Knockout Cup last Sunday, beating high-flyers Golden Arrows 2-1 with goals from Mpho Makola and Luvuyo Memela. The Bucs will head into Saturday’s showdown in good spirits and confident of getting something from the game.
Ndoro has been in top form for Pirates this season, scoring six goals in as many games. He is blessed with blistering pace, trickery, a great technique and a very good eye for goal. With the creative talents of Oupa Manyisa and Makola providing chances for Ndoro, Chiefs’ defence will be in for a very busy afternoon.
Having played a game more than Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs have won four from their six matches in the league, losing once – 2-1 away to Bidvest Wits on the opening day of the season. They drew their second game 1-1 against Platinum Stars at the FNB Stadium, but after four wins on the spin, Amakhosi are beginning to hit their stride under Steve Komphela.
Chiefs have beaten Highlands Park (1-0 away from home), Maritzburg United (2-0 at home), Free State Stars (2-0 away from home) and Ajax Cape Town (2-0 at home) having scored seven goals without conceding. Amakhosi come into this game off a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Maritzburg United following a goalless draw in the Telkom Knockout Cup. They’ve now kept five straight clean sheets which will boost their confidence.
Mathoho and Lorenzo Gordinho are gradually forming a solid partnership in the heart of Amakhosi's defence. Gordinho in particular has been outstanding this season and he’s even chipped in with three goals – no defender has scored more. The pair will need to be rock-solid on the weekend as they’ll rub shoulders with the league’s in-form striker.
Midfielder George Maluleka will miss the game as he will be out for the second match of his two-game suspension. George Lebese will look to run the show in midfield with his quick-feet and fantastic dribbling skills. He brings creativity and invention to Komphela’s side and he could be a nuisance for Ertugral’s men on Saturday. William Twala will cause Pirates all kinds of problems when on the attack. He has a great burst of pace, quick feet, and very good agility, all of which allows him to breeze past opposition defenders. He can’t be afforded space in front of goal as he has some thunderous shots in him as well.
Verdict: Pirates (17/10)
The Soweto Derby is usually a tight affair and this weekend should be no different. Victory will be crucial in this six-pointer, with Chiefs looking to go seven points above their arch-rivals, while Pirates will look to close the gap to just one point. Ndoro could be a deciding factor in this tie. I’m going for a Pirates win at 17/10.
Written by Doctors Orders @Hollywoodbets