Pirates, Chiefs ready for Soweto derby

The 2022-23 DStv Premiership will feature its main fixture, the Soweto derby, this weekend when the Orlando Pirates host the Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The start is at 3:30 pm CAT.

In what will be the final series of league matches before the 2022 World Cup break, the Pirates will be looking to continue the momentum they have built over the previous 11 days by claiming consecutive wins and securing a spot on MTN8. final.

The Buccaneers first snapped a four-game winless streak by defeating the Golden Arrows 2-0 in a Premiership clash on October 18, followed by a shock 3-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns in the second leg of an MTN8 semi-final. the last weekend.

The holder of the two victories was Monnapule Saleng, who scored a brace in each game and has become the new favorite among Pirates fans. If he can continue his goalscoring form in this derby, his status as a ‘club legend in the making’ will already be assured.

As for the Chiefs, disappointment has been the marker of their recent results: AmaZulu tied them 0-0 last weekend to miss out on the MTN8 final due to the away goals rule, with that setback following a 2-1 loss to Chippa United and 2-2 draw with TS Galaxy in successive league games.

The notion that form is irrelevant to the derby is something the Amakhosi hope will ring true this weekend, as the Bucs certainly come into the game with greater confidence and drive.

battles to watch

Monnapule Saleng vs Sifiso Hlanti

Saleng has enjoyed great success playing down the right flank before cutting inside to attack from more central positions, which will present a tough challenge to Chiefs left-back Hlanti in terms of positioning and awareness.

Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo v Keagan Dolly

Although Ndlondlo and Dolly won’t necessarily be in direct combat with each other, their roles as creative attackers will be vital in unlocking defenses in what is often a cautious clash. Whichever of the duo can make their attack “click” more effectively will give their team a huge advantage.

Kermit Erasmus vs. Zitha Kwinika

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Erasmus’ return to the Pirates has been a huge success so far, with ‘Romeo’ bringing experience, intelligence and composure to his attacking game. However, he will face a tough direct opponent in the robust and determined Kwinika, who has become the cornerstone of the Chiefs’ defense.

What the teams say

Orlando Pirates coach José Riveiro.

“Today it’s not very easy to create chances against the Pirates. When we are fully focused, it is a difficult mission for the opponent.”

He added: “I can only say good things about our defensive phase. We defend with 11 players when we don’t have the ball. That is one of the keys and one of the reasons why we are obtaining these types of results. It’s not a secret.

On Monnapule Saleng’s form, the Spaniard noted: “There are also players who are more attractive to the fans, of course, especially a player like Saleng. I mean you can see the way it comes week after week. Now, what is key for him, and also for us, is to stay humble.”

Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane

“Pressure is part of the game. For me, being under pressure is a privilege because you will not be under pressure when you are not in a good place… a place that improves you as a person.”

He added: “The fans must have seen that the boys [the players] He did his level best. Yes, we are all disappointed that we did not go to the [MTN8] end but at the end of the day there is nothing we can change now. We just have to focus… this is a trip. We know that things will get better with the passage of time.

On the challenge of playing the derby, Zwane said: “We know it’s going to be a great match as well.” [against Pirates] because our next opponents are doing very well at the moment, which is good for South African football and it’s also very good for us because we will know that going into that match we will have to do everything we can to try to come out with a result positive.”

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Previous league lineups

The Pirates’ lineup in their 2-0 win over the Golden Arrows on Oct. 18:

Mpontshane, Monyane (Makgaka 90′), Hotto, Maela (Mako 66′), Sibisi, Ndah, Timm (Motshwari 59′), Dlamini (Makaringe 59′), Ndlondlo, Saleng, Erasmus (Lepasa 66′).

The Chiefs’ lineup from their 2-2 draw with TS Galaxy on Oct. 19: Bvuma, Frosler (Solomons 83′), Dove, Kwinika, Hlanti, Blom, Maart, Matlou (Sekgota 61′), Dolly, Du Preez, Billiat (Ngcobo 81′).

did you know

– Although teams have drawn 28 of their 73 league games since 1985, the last six league meetings between Pirates and Chiefs have produced a winner.

– The Chiefs’ league games this season have produced twice as many goals (30 – 15 for and 15 against) as the Pirates (15 – 9 for and 6 against).

– The teams are separated by just one point in the Premiership table, with Pirates on 19 points compared to Chiefs’ 18.

– The teams will meet again in two weeks in the semi-final of the revamped Carling Black Label Cup.

– The Chiefs have yet to keep a clean sheet in an away league game this season.

– The Pirates have scored the majority of their league goals (44.4 per cent) this season within the first 15 minutes of games.

– The Chiefs’ favorite scoring period is the first 15 minutes of the second half of games, in which they have scored 33.3 percent of their goals.

Head to head stats

In head-to-head statistics, the Pirates and Chiefs have met in 73 top league games since 1985. The Amakhosi have recorded 29 wins compared to 16 for the Buccaneers, while 28 games have been drawn.

The Pirates have recorded 10 wins in 38 turns as hosts in this rivalry, suffering 13 losses in the process.

The Chiefs completed a league ‘double’ over the Pirates in the teams’ Premiership meetings last season, winning 2-1 in both November 2021 and March 2022. Keagan Dolly scored a brace in the previous game, while Amakhosi’s goals were scored by Reeve Frosler and Eric Mathoho in the latter.

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