The biggest derby in the country will once again divide the nation as Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates lock horns in the Soweto derby! The Glamour Boys have already tasted defeat to Josef Zinnbauer’s Buccaneers three times this season, so a fourth loss against their bitter rivals will not only highlight their disastrous campaign, but Pirates will be able to rub it in their faces for many years to come. Will this tie swing in Pirates’ favour once again, or can Chiefs spring an upset against their crosstown nemesis? Let’s find out, shall we.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
DStv Premiership | Sunday 21 March | FNB Stadium | 15:00
To Win Match
Kaizer Chiefs 24/10
Orlando Pirates 5/4
Its been a difficult season for Kaizer Chiefs this term with reports now suggesting that Gavin Hunt has been handed an ultimatum to finish in the top eight or at least progress to the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League.
Both feats seem like ridiculous tasks at hand, but with Hunt’s experience and the quality Amakhosi have at their disposal, they should be able to climb up the top half of the DStv Premiership at the very least.
Domestically, Kaizer Chiefs are winless in seven games, which include six ties without victory in the league, while they were also dumped out of the Nedbank Cup to GladAfrica Championship side, Richards Bay FC.
There hasn’t been much to brag about from the Amakhosi camp, although, despite their long-standing run of results without victory, the Glamour Boys have been able to find the back of the net on a regular basis, but a lapse in concentration at the back, coupled with a few goalkeeping howlers have let Hunt’s side down big time.
Samir Nurkovic has scored just once – a gift from the AmaZulu defence – while Bernard Parker is yet to score all season. Leonardo Castro has had to carry the burden this season but also has just three league goals to his name.
Chiefs don’t have much of a chance on paper, but as we’ve seen in previous derbies, no team can be cheaply written off before the match.
Orlando Pirates will look to do what has never been done before and beat their Soweto rivals four times in the same season. Its not only the results over Kaizer Chiefs that have been impressive, but also the manner in which Zinnbauer’s side have gone about their business, beating them 5-0 on aggregate in the MTN8, while Pirates also humbled Chiefs to a 2-1 defeat at Orlando Stadium.
After a slow start, Orlando Pirates have now found their way again and are crushing teams at will. In the domestic competitions, Pirates are on a six-game unbeaten run, drawing only to SuperSport United in Pretoria.
In that run, the Buccaneers beat Cape Town City, Maritzburg United, Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United, which has seen them back amongst the frontrunners for the CAF Champions League spots.
With Zinnbauer now in a rich vein of form, pressure has been eluded from the German with the club now looking the way they were in his first full year in charge. The German’s biggest downfall is arguably the rotation in his team selection.
Siphesihle Ndlovu has shown glimpses of his brilliance, but the role he has played in has come under immense scrutiny. So too with Linda Mntambo. The leggy midfielder has played his way back into the team and after ‘Figo’ scored against Chiefs earlier this season as well, his late runs into the box could definitely be utilized again.
Akpeyi; Frosler, Mathoho, Cardoso, Zulu; Katsande, Ngcobo;
Kambole, Manyama, Mashiane; Nurkovic
Ofori; Ndlovu, Hlatshwayo, Jele, Mako; Makaringe, Monare,
Motshwari; Pule, Mntambo, Hotto
Prediction: Orlando Pirates (5/4)
As far as picking a winner in the derby goes, it doesn’t get
any more straightforward than this. Orlando Pirates come into this game in much
better form, don’t have to leave the country in midweek and have already gotten
the better of their rivals three times this season. With the utmost respect to
Chiefs, Orlando Pirates will not even need to be at their best to win this
fixture. I’d go as far as saying include the Buccaneers in all multiples.
Written by Jesse Nagel