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Were Chiefs and Pirates fans too busy voting for each others line-ups?

We question the fact that Chiefs and Pirates fans may have been voting for each others line-ups
By Jesse Nagel

On Tuesday morning, a preview of the Carling Black Label Champions Cup line-ups gave us an indication as to which players will come out of the tunnel in the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The official line-ups will be announced shortly, but the players that were leading the votes on Monday night make me believe that Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs fans have opted to cast their vote to spite their rival team, instead of picking their own best line-up.

The players leading the votes for the Bucs were: Brighton Mhlongo, Nkosinathi Mthiyane, Justice Chabalala, Happy Jele, Ayanda Gcaba, Gift Motupa, Bernard Morrison, Abbubaker Mobara, Dove Wome, Sello Japhta, Ayanda Nkosi.

Yes, it's not official, and I'm expecting a few changes. Motupa, Wome and Mhlongo are all no longer at Pirates, meaning they would be ineligible to play the match. Still, a few other names leave many Bucs fans with raised eyebrows.

It was sort of expected to see the likes of Issa Sarr, Mpho Makola and Thamsanqa Gabuza miss out. However, the exclusion of Thabo Matlaba, Mark Van Heerden, Oupa Manyisa and Tendai Ndoro come as a shock.

Ndoro has had a hit-and-miss season, going missing in the second half of the campaign. Still, Pirates are not spoilt for options in attack, leaving me with only one theory: could Kaizer Chiefs fans have voted for Bucs' line-up instead of their own?

And, perhaps Pirates supporters returned the favour...

The players leading the votes for Chiefs were: Bruce Bvuma, Sibusiso Khumalo, Eric Mathoho, Lorenzo Gordinho, Daniel Cardoso, Willard Katsande, Pule Ekstein, Keagan Buchanan, Edmore Chirambadare, Emmanuel Letlotlo, Gustavo Paez.

Although, there is two ways of looking at that line-up. Yes, Pirates fans could have voted for the lesser known players ahead of the big superstars. However, it could be a sign that the Amakhosi faithful could be tired of the old guard at the club.

PSL Goal of the Season winner, Siphiwe Tshabalala, George Lebese and Bernard Parker were all given the cold shoulder by the fans.

The surprise omission to the most voted line-up by Monday night was Itumeleng Khune, especially as he was leading the overall votes just a fortnight ago. If the line-ups remain the same, Bvuma could grab even more headlines across South Africa.

One change is certain for sure, though. Letlotlo will play no part in the match after suffering a long-term knee injury.

My biggest argument is how Chirambadare got into the fans' most voted XI. The Zimbabwean international received the Most Improved Player award at Amakhosi last season, despite not getting his name on the scoring charts. It makes me question whether Chiefs fans really know what they want these days...

Then again, it could be Pirates supporters trying their utmost best to troll their Soweto rivals.