Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates Preview

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates clash in the Carling Black Label Cup on Saturday
Kaizer Chiefs lock horns with Orlando Pirates in a sold-out pre-season friendly at the FNB Stadium
Carling Black Label Champion Cup | Saturday 29 July | FNB Stadium | 15:00

The Carling Black Label Cup takes centre stage this weekend. Kaizer Chiefs lock horns with Orlando Pirates in a sold-out pre-season friendly at the FNB Stadium. This will give coaches a picture of how far they’ve gone in terms of being ready for the upcoming season. It will also give the whole continent an idea of how tactically astute fans are since they chose their own starting line-ups.

To Win (90 mins)
Chiefs 13/10
Draw 19/10
Pirates 21/10

Kaizer Chiefs

Most voted for players as of Monday: Bruce Bvuma, Sibusiso Khumalo, Eric Mathoho, Lorenzo Gordinho, Daniel Cardoso, Willard Katsande, Pule Ekstein, Keagan Buchanan, Edmore Chirambadare, Emmanuel Letlotlo, Gustavo Paez.

After enduring yet another trophyless season, AmaKhosi will be looking to gain a psychological boost ahead of the new campaign and nothing can provide that better than beating their bitter rivals. Chiefs have had a good pre-season, winning the Maize Cup which is a one-day tournament by beating Free State Stars 1-0 in the final with George Lebese scoring the winner in the 83rd minute.

Surprisingly enough, Bruce Bvuma, who rose into prominence after the scandal that he’s being paid only R5000, is leading the goalkeepers’ votes. This must be support out of pity because everyone expected Itumeleng Khune to keep his place between the sticks. Sibusiso Khumalo is likely to start ahead of Tsepo Masilela at left-back and I strongly believe that he’s a better player than Masilela because he also offers offensive options.

In terms of their midfield, I think fans voted for ball-players who provide excitement as opposed to balance. Regular box-to-box midfielder George Maluleka falls off the pecking order in favour of the charismatic Keagan Buchanan, while dribbling wizard Pule Ekstein also makes the cut.

As expected, the fans voted for Gustavo Paez who has proved himself and the supporters have been backing coach Steve Komphela to field him.



Orlando Pirates

Most voted for players as of Monday: Brighton Mhlongo, Nkosinathi Mthiyane, Justice Chabalala, Happy Jele, Ayanda Gcaba, Gift Motupa, Bernard Morrison, Abbubaker Mobara, Dove Wome, Sello Japhta, Ayanda Nkosi.

The mighty Buccaneers have a very interesting story because they have parted ways with three of the most voted for players, namely Brighton Mhlongo, Gift Motupa and Dove Wome. I expect Siyabonga Mpontshane, Mpho Makola or Thamsanqa Sangweni and Tendai Ndoro to replace them respectively.

Pirates fans also have the appreciation of Justice Chabalala’s return from Chippa United as he is in the starting line up. The move really makes sense because the team has had defensive frailties since his departure. Ayanda Gcaba will start at left-back if Thabo Matlaba or Patrick Phungwayo don’t overtake by Tuesday. The fans dislike the two fullbacks because they’ve cost the team over the last few seasons and the coaches kept fielding them.

If Sangweni manages to start alongside Bernard Morrison in the middle of the park, I foresee them complimenting each other. Morrison is a good dribbler who can create space for his teammates, he just needs to be less selfish and Sangweni knows how to break up opposition play and is also useful with the ball at his feet. That’s why he has been brought in and with his arrival, Issa Sarr will definitely play second fiddle.

Sello Japhta is a shock favourite since he hasn’t played enough to impress the fans. I’m pleased to see Ayanda Nkosi having a great possibility of starting because he is a talented striker who hasn’t been given enough game time. This is set to be a thrill-packed, attacking match that is sure to excite fans with attacking football that is full of dribbling.

Prediction: Orlando Pirates (21/10)
If things stay like this, both teams are set up to play attacking football and we can see that both sets of fans have gone for dribbling wizards as opposed to ensuring balance by including box-to-box players like Oupa Manyisa and George Maluleka. Willard Katsande is the only player with defensive capabilities in the Chiefs side and Pirates only have Mobara and hopefully the choice of Sangweni ahead of Makola to replace Motupa, who has left for Baroka FC. Both teams are tipped to find the back of the net with Pirates backed to outscore their opponents.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya. Follow him on Twitter here!