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Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates Preview

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates stars Khama Billiat and Thembinkosi Lorch
When Amakhosi and the Mighty Buccaneers clash, families are divided by opinions. It’s the visitors who have enjoyed recent dominance over their crosstown rivals, having not lost in regulation time over the last 11 meetings. 

Orlando Pirates are looking to make up ground on top-placed Bidvest Wits as their continue their quest for Absa Premiership glory, while Kaizer Chiefs seek redemption after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cape Town City despite dominating the game last week. 

Absa Premiership 
Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates

Saturday 9 February 
FNB Stadium 

To Win 
Kaizer Chiefs 31/20
Draw 18/10
Orlando Pirates 39/20

Kaizer Chiefs

Virgil Vries has been shambolic in between the sticks for Ernst Middendorp’s side, committing costly schoolboy errors and the team reacted by signing Daniel Akpeyi from Chippa United. The Nigerian goalminder who was the only PSL player to be called up for last year’s FIFA World Cup is expected to hit the ground running and a good performance against Pirates would be a huge confidence booster. 

The 21-year old Happy “Vur Vai” Mashiane has recently been promoted to the first team and he has hardly put a foot wrong. I expect him to be given his first Soweto derby experience this weekend. Newly-signed Reeve Frosler gives the team much-needed depth in the right-back position where left-footed Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya has deputised for Ramahlwe Mphahlele whenever he was unavailable for selection.

The team’s form has been indifferent this season and they head into the derby with seven wins, six draws and six defeats. It took them an own goal in extra time to get the better of Tornado FC who compete in the third tier of South African football in the Nedbank Cup Last 32.

The hosts are well-rested ahead of this encounter as they had a nine-day break while their hosts were in continental action. This will also be Kaizer Chiefs’ first match after the news about 19-year old Wiseman Meyiwa being unable to kick a ball again in his life came out. The midfielder suffered serious injuries in a car collision last year.

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Orlando Pirates 

The title-chasing Buccaneers are oozing with confidence after winning all three Soweto derbies last year and they are hoping to make it four in a row. The visitors are currently five points off the pace with a game in hand on top-placed Bidvest Wits and they can’t afford to lose ground at this critical juncture.

Pirates has been guilty of dropping points from winning positions this season and they currently have a record of eight wins and eight draws. They haven’t tasted a league defeat since gameweek four when they lost two back to back games to Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic. Heading into this encounter, Pirates have played three back to back draws across all competitions. They were eliminated by Black Leopards from the Nedbank Cup on penalties, played out to a 1-1 draw with Baroka and were held to a goalless stalemate by Esperance de Tunis in the CAF Champions League. 

Pirates arguably play the best football in the league but missing sitters has been their story of the season with Justin Shonga being the main culprit. Their goalkeeping department also needs to improve as they don’t even know who is their first-choice keeper. Last week we saw Wayne Sandilands making a return into the starting line-up after being sent to play with the MultiChoice Diski Challenge kids in the months gone by.

The centre-back pairing of Marshall Munetsi and Alfred Ndengane did well against the African champions last week, leaving Sandilands with the task of being a mere spectator in goals and I expect them to start together in the derby.

Probable line-ups:
Kaizer Chiefs: 4-3-3
Akpeyi; Mphahlele, Cardoso, Hadebe, Mashiane; Katsande, Ntshangase, Ekstein; Billiat, Parker Castro.
Orlando Pirates: 4-3-3
Sandilands; Mbekile, Munetsi, Ndengane, Maela; Mlambo, Nyatama, Motshwari; Lorch, Pule, Shonga 

Prediction: Orlando Pirates (39/20)
Chiefs are priced up as favourites which beats me as current form, log position and recent head-to-head record shows that Pirates are a better team. As much as Chiefs will make a game of it, I don’t see them managing to keep the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule at bay. Pirates are also chasing the title which will see them double their efforts to catch top-placed Bidvest Wits. I can’t look past a Pirates win for the result here.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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