Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates Preview



Log leaders Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to make back-to-back wins over Orlando Pirates when the two giants meet at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

An age-old rivalry is being renewed once again, with serious implications at stake. Amakhosi need this win to keep their momentum going, and to hold the advantage in the title race. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, will go all-out against their neighbours in order to revive their season.

Orlando Pirates have a fantastic record against Kaizer Chiefs in recent seasons and their unbeaten record in the league stretches to December 2014. It’s make-or-break time for young Rhulani Mokwena who felt unlucky last weekend in his first derby. His men dominated Chiefs for a large part of the game. Will he be lucky this time around? Find out what we have to say.

*Please note that this article was written prior to midweek ABSA Premiership fixtures against Maritzburg United and Chippa United. 

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Absa Premiership
Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates  
Saturday 9 November
FNB Stadium
15:30


To Win 
Chiefs 17/10
Draw 39/20
Pirates 17/10

Kaizer Chiefs

Since Ernst Middendorp took over in December 2018, there were a lot of negative comments from most of the fans, showing zero faith to the German tactician. Middendorp has, however, won most of the Amakhosi supporters.

The 61-year-old mentor took a very shaky Kaizer Chiefs team to the finals of the Nedbank Cup and now he is on course to make it back-to-back finals and that’s what Chiefs is known for, doing well in cup competitions. Since December 2018, only two coaches, Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt, have won more league games than Middendorp.

Kaizer Chiefs are sweating for Reeve Frosler and Kearyn Baccus who missed last weekend due to injury and they were largely missed. Young right-back Njabulo Blom struggled against the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch. The hosts felt hard done by the officials in last week’s derby, Samir Nurkovic was denied a legitimate goal and Lorch should have been sent off in the first half. Amakhosi are oozing with confidence at the moment and they will give Pirates a run for their money come Saturday.

The biggest boost coming into this game is the fact that Chiefs rested players in their midweek clash against Chippa United with only three players (Daniel Cardoso, Willard Katsande and Nurkovic) retaining their starting position from the match against their arch-rivals. 

The games against Mamelodi Sundowns and last week’s derby proved that Kaizer Chiefs do need a holding midfielder and an experienced left-back if they are to compete for the title.

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Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates showed character last weekend at Moses Mabhida and they proved to everyone why they finished second last season. The Buccaneers were leading at half-time and they were reduced to 10-men early in the second half but they still matched Amakhosi in all aspects.

There were a lot of question marks around Rhulani Mokwena ahead of his first Soweto derby and boy he proved his worth. The line-up was spot on, the planning and set-up was amazing and the substitutions were brilliant.

Being reduced to 10-men and conceding a penalty proved to be the difference for the Ezimnyama Ngenkani. On the positive side, Pirates welcome back star player Lorch who was suspended for the match against Maritzburg United, though the Buccaneers will be without captain Happy Jele.

Ezikamagebhula always steps up in derbies even in their worst seasons where they’d lose 6-1 and 6-0 to SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns they would still remain unbeaten in the Soweto derby.

New signings Gabadinho Mhango, Fortune Makaringe and Tshegofatso Mabaso have really gelled well at Pirates and they have been fantastic to watch. Mhango has been the game-changer for Rhulani in recent weeks. His outstanding performances he pulled up against Highlands Park and Chiefs commands respect for the Malawian international.


Probable line-ups:

Kaizer Chiefs: 4-3-3

Akpeyi; Ntiya-Ntiya, Mathoho, Cardoso, Frosler; Maluleka, Katsande, Manyama; Billiat, Nurkovic, Castro.

Orlando Pirates: 4-4-2

Sandilands; Monyane, Maela, Nyauza, Ndengane; Pule, Motshwari, Makaringe, Lorch; Mabasa, Mhango.

Prediction: Draw 39/20

A draw has always been the likelier outcome when these two sides meet and the last two derbies ended in a 1-1 share of the spoils in regulation time. A win for Kaizer chiefs would be a massive statement as they look to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns for the league and a win for Orlando Pirates will surely end the doubts over Rhulani Mokwena. I personally don’t see any of the two teams going all out and I’m sure both coaches would be happy with a draw. 

Written by Banele Pikwa

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