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Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs Preview

Thulani Hlatswayo and Khama Billiat will be key battle this Saturday

The first of four episodes between these two South African giants will begin this Saturday as Orlando Pirates host Kaizer Chiefs in the first Soweto Derby of the season. Games of this type of magnitude tend to set the tone for the season, and with this being the biggest match on each team’s calendar for the campaign, both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will want to claim bragging rights over their rivals while also going one step closer to ending their long-standing trophy drought. This will be Gavin Hunt’s first Soweto Derby in charge of Chiefs, while Josef Zinnbauer will be looking to make amends after already losing to the Glamour Boys in his spell with Pirates.

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MTN8 Semi-Final, First leg
Saturday 31 October
Orlando Stadium

To win
Orlando Pirates 33/20
Draw 2/1
Kaizer Chiefs 33/20

Orlando Pirates

Esgodini SikaMaminzela will be treated to one of Africa’s biggest games of the season when Orlando Pirates host Kaizer Chiefs, who used this ground as their home venue in last season’s bio-bubble. Sadly, this game will still be contested without fans due to COVID-19 restrictions.

At their original home ground, Orlando Pirates will feel like they have every chance of beating their bitter rivals. Pirates are unbeaten in their opening two matches, putting Cape Town City to the sword in the previous round before being held by AmaZulu in their DStv Premiership opener.

As expected at one of the biggest clubs in the country, fans have already begun to overreact and question whether Zinnbauer is the right man to end the trophy draught at Pirates after failing to beat Usuthu in Durban.

They’ve added the perfect balance of quality in their squad for the upcoming campaign in Richard Ofori, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Deon Hotto, Wayde Jooste, Thabang Monare, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Collins Makgaka.

Now, you get the feeling that the German coach has assembled a squad strong enough to challenge on all fronts, especially with two of his biggest contenders, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, enduring somewhat of a rebuilding phase under new management.

Its all set up for Pirates now and with Dzvukamanja and Gabadinho Mhango already off the mark for the season, things can only get better for the Buccaneers.

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Kaizer Chiefs

Losing a big game is always tough on team morale, especially when you’re new in a job, and after their 3-0 demolition against Mamelodi Sundowns, Gavin Hunt will find it tough to get his charges back to their best against Soweto rivals, Orlando Pirates.

This will be his first Soweto derby at the helm of Kaizer Chiefs with plenty expected of the four-time Premiership winner. Hunt has been successful at every club he’s worked at and will hope fortunes continue to work in his favour at Amakhosi.

Games like these make or break you, but Hunt has done it at this level for most of his coaching career, and without fans in the stadium, less pressure will be on him to deliver from the Chiefs supporters.

Hunt has surely learnt a lot from his Chiefs side in the club’s opening two games and after showing encouraging signs against Maritzburg United, where they clawed their way back to win 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the MTN8, last game was just an eye-sore.

There were a few bright sparks in their opening two matches. For starters, Khama Billiat looks to be regaining some of his Sundowns form again and looks to be confident to take on a few players, while some of their youngsters have outshone the senior players, most notably Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Njabulo Blom.

Despite the absence of Samir Nurkovic, Chiefs still have plenty of players who can hurt the Pirates backline, who are yet to fully find their feet together.

Probable line-ups:

Orlando Pirates: 4-3-3
Ofori; Jooste, Hlatshwayo, Nyauza, Maela; Ndlovu, Motshwari, Makaringe; Dzvukamanja, Mhango, Hotto.

Kaizer Chiefs: 4-4-2
Khune; Frosler, Mphahlele, Cardoso, Sasman; Parker, Ngcobo, Katsande, Manyama; Billiat, Castro.

Prediction: Orlando Pirates (33/20)
With Hunt’s hands tied behind his back with the inability to sign players, it seems like Kaizer Chiefs could go through a bit of a rough start before Hunt stamps his blueprint on the club. Amakhosi were badly beaten against Sundowns and had plenty of shaky moments against Maritzburg United. Pirates, on the other hand, have looked decent and might not even have to be at their utmost best to beat this current Chiefs side.

Written by Jesse Nagel