Chiefs v Pirates Preview

Carling Black Label Cup | Saturday 26 July | FNB Stadium | 15:00




The Carling Black Label Cup graces us this weekend as one of the world’s biggest rivalries kicks off the 2014/15 South African season. This unique competition, where fans decide who they want to see on the pitch, has been a hit since its inception four years back and the FNB Stadium is expected to be at a capacity of almost 93 000. One exception this time around is that fans selected a full starting eleven, as opposed to just one player. As was the case in previous years, supporters will also be able to make the substitution changes on match day, by voting in players they think will influence the game, as they look to steer their side to victory.

Last year, Kaizer Chiefs, after winning the PSL title, also won the Carling Black Label Cup. In their third attempt at victory in the clash, they defeated Orlando Pirates 1- 0. The Buccaneers were PSL champions when they won the first two editions, with both wins coming from the penalty spot in shoot-outs after closely-contested clashes. This year, for the first time, neither team is the league title holder. Now, though, they have an opportunity to win silverware by getting the better of their fierce rivals.

To Win (90mins)
Chiefs 15/10
Draw 2/1
Pirates 17/10

KAIZER CHIEFS

The Kaizer Chiefs eleven, selected thus far by the AmaKhosi faithful, looks an exciting team.

With Bernard Parker out with injury, running away with the votes is the striking pair of Knowledge Musona and Katlego Mphela, while George Maluleka is preferred to stalwart Willard Katsande.

Musona, who has amassed almost a million votes, is the most in-demand outfield player despite his seemingly likely exit from Naturena.

Chiefs are working around the clock to secure the services of their loaned striker from Hoffenheim.

The votes of the Chiefs fans could go to waste if Amakhosi fails to reach an agreement with Hoffenheim. Glamour Boys captain and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is in a league of his own with a mammoth 2 million votes.

The Chiefs defensive generals also remain intact, with Erick Mathoho, Tefu Mashamaite, Tsepo Masilela and Siboniso Gaxa all finding their way into the majority of Champion Coach's starting line-ups.

Morgan Gould is still in contention, but coaches who wish to see Gould crack the starting 11 will need to make up some ground.

In midfield, Maluleka will partner Reneilwe Letsholonyane with Siphiwe Tshabalala and George Lebese on the flanks.

62% of the total votes are from the AmaKhosi faithful. Chiefs, who relinquished league honours to Mamelodi Sundowns last term, returned to Naturena on Monday after a 10-day training camp in Port Elizabeth, which culminated with a 4-2 friendly win over Chippa United this past weekend.

ORLANDO PIRATES

Orlando Pirates keeper Senzo Meyiwa has received the biggest backing in Mayfair with just over a million votes, while Bucs hitmen Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kermit Erasmus lead the way at the other end of the field.

Off-season arrival Issa Sarr is just behind the pecking order, with fellow midfielders Oupa Manyisa, Daine Klate, Tlou Segolela and Sifiso Myeni ahead of him.

Thabo Matlaba has received the most votes of any Sea Robbers defender, just in front of another fullback Happy Jele.

Rooi Mahamutsa and Siyabonga Sangweni are the favoured centre backs. Majoro will receive a lot of the limelight going into the Soweto derby.

“The Major” left his ex-club on bad terms and will want to prove his worth to Stuart Baxter and the Chiefs fans.

Pirates intensified their preseason training by hosting National First Division outfit Baroka FC for a practice match.

The Soweto Giants defeated the visitor’s 2-1. Coach Vladimir Vermezovic was brought to Orlando Pirates to mainly restore discipline last season.

Six months down the line the Serb seems to be achieving much more than the task of bringing the players into line, as he gradually rebuilds the team that completely dominated the PSL two seasons ago.

Even though Vermezovic is not that new at the Soweto club, having come midway through last season, he has already made a great impact, both in enforcing mental discipline and restoring a winning outlook by guiding Pirates to Nedbank Cup glory.

Betting PredictionDRAW 2/1
This match is always a tense affair and the most common result of late has been the draw. Ten of the last 17 encounters have ended in a stalemate with Chiefs edging Pirates with four wins to three. The attacking talent on show looks likely to produce an end to end match. However, the draw still looks the most likely result. 

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

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