ABSA Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates | Saturday 21 October | FNB Stadium | 15:30

South Africa’s greatest soccer rivalry takes centre stage on Saturday as Kaizer Chiefs battle it out with Orlando Pirates in an enticing league encounter. Both teams have had stuttering starts to the season, but form goes out the window during the Soweto derby. The last three league matches between these two sides were drawn. Will the trend continue? Here’s what I think…

To Win
Kaizer Chiefs 17/10
Draw 19/10
Orlando Pirates 17/10

Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs go into this fixture off the back of an atrocious home record as they remain winless in their backyard after four matches, including the MTN8 defeat at the hands of SuperSport United. The fans are calling for coach Steve Komphela’s head and the 2-1 loss to Baroka at their alternative home ground, Moses Mabhida Stadium, is the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Security guards and armed police had to intervene to ensure that he leaves the stadium safely.

To be honest, the team is playing well but results aren’t forthcoming which prompted the famous quote from the ever so eloquent Komphela who said “nothing is wrong, but something is not right”. Amakhosi will be buoyed by the fact that their goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, is on fire. He has been awarded the best player in the league for the month of September.

The ever-growing injury list is also not helping their cause as they have to find a makeshift defender with right-backs Kgotso Moleko and Ramahlwe Mphahlele out injured. Their dangerman, Gustavo Paez, also won’t see action due to injury. It remains to be see how Komphela improvises under these circumstances.

Orlando Pirates

The mighty Buccaneers have somewhat improved from their display in their shambolic last season. They currently sit fourth on the log, at the time of writing, only three points off the pace and two positions above their crosstown rivals. They haven’t played great football but they’ve managed to grind out results.

After Tendai Ndoro’s departure, we all thought they will have goalscoring problems but Thamsanqa Gabuza has stepped up to the plate and the promotion of the 17-year old, Lyle Forster, is paying dividends. However, pushing Thabo Matlaba to midfield as opposed to his natural fullback positions sometimes doesn’t work.

Wayne Sandilands isn’t a classy goalkeeper but he has done fantastically well for the team ever since he joined and produced a few man-of-the-match performances. Pirates go into this clash with a clean bill of health with none of their players sustaining injuries on national duty. They are also a well-rested side this season with the team uncharacteristically having no involvement in the MTN8 and continental competitions.

Probable line-ups:

Kaizer Chiefs: 4-2-3-1
Khune; Cardoso, Katsande, Mathoho, Zulu; Maluleka, Meyiwa; Malongoane, Ekstein, Tshabalala; Parker.

Orlando Pirates: 4-3-3
Sandilands; Mobara, Jele, Nyauza, Maela; Matlaba, Nyatama, Makola; Qalinge, Gabuza, Lorch.

Prediction: Draw (19/10)
Both teams will play exciting football, but we know that they lack necessary firepower upfront and I think they will cancel each other out.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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