Football

BUCS PREVIEW: KAIZER CHIEFS FOR THE DERBY MATCH

The Soweto Derby will be the main attraction in this weekend’s DStv Premiership action as Orlando Pirates visit arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In what has for decades been the biggest fixture in the local football calendar, two colossal names in South African football go toe-to-toe for the first time this season with a valuable three points up for grabs. 

Form 

The age-old rivalry takes centre stage under rare circumstances as both Soweto Giants approach the highly-anticipated showdown in the unfamiliar territory of mid-table. This follows indifferent results endured by both camps throughout the early part of the campaign.

It is Amakhosi who are currently higher up in the standings at seventh place, having played an additional two games compared to the Buccaneers who are two points behind in 10th position.

Chiefs were victorious at home in midweek, beating the visiting Cape Town Spurs 3-2 to bounce back from back-to-back defeats. It was only their second win in their last five league fixtures, where they have netted seven goals while conceding six.

They now host a Pirates side that has experienced a lean spell in front of goal, despite finding the net in each of their last four league games.

The Buccaneers scraped past Sekhukhune United at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday, winning 1-0 to end a winless run that had stretched to four league matches. The game’s solitary goal was only their fourth in their five most recent games in the Premiership, where they boast two stalemates and as many defeats to go with their one victory.

Heading into the Soweto Derby, they will be eyeing back-to-back victories in a bid to build winning momentum as the season approaches the halfway mark.

Team News

The Buccaneers have received a timely boost in playing personnel, with striker Zakhele Lepasa now eligible for selection after serving the one-match ban that forced him to sit out the game against Sekhukhune.

Similarly, the Amakhosi squad has been bolstered by the return of midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa, who also took no part in his side’s midweek fixture due to suspension.

There are injury concerns in both camps as Pirates stars Innocent Maela, Sipho Chaine and Paseka Mako all continue to recover from various knocks, while Chiefs also sweat over the availability of Siyethemba Sithebe and Ashley du Preez who have both been sidelined in recent weeks.

Key Players 

Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates): The Soweto Derby has often brought the best out of the talismanic midfielder, who approaches Saturday’s fixture after stringing together some impressive performances. Lorch’s presence brings an extra dimension to the Bucs attack, and the player will be eager to add to his five league goals against his side’s Soweto rivals.

Edson Castillo (Kaizer Chiefs): The Venezuelan has made an immediate impact in South African football, quickly emerging as a key player for Chiefs. In 15 games across competitions, Castillo has chipped in with five goals while mainly operating in central midfield and is fresh off a goal-scoring appearance in midweek.

Head-to-Head

Pirates currently hold the Soweto Derby bragging rights, having emerged victorious the last time these two sides met. They claimed a 2-1 win in a marathon cup encounter back in May, with defender Sandile Mthethwa providing the late winner with just six minutes on the clock after Kermit Erasmus’ early opener was cancelled out by Yusuf Maart.

It’s however been a different story in Premiership derbies, where Chiefs have had the upper hand in recent seasons, posting two consecutive league doubles over their rivals.

This means that the Buccaneers go into the fixture looking for their first league win since January 2021 when goals from Lorch and Siphesihle Ndlovu gave them three points as they walked off 2-1 winners.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs

The game is scheduled to kick off at 15:30 and will be televised live on SuperSport PSL and SABC 1. You can also keep in touch with the action as it happens by following live updates posted across Orlando Pirates social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

SOURCED FROM THE CLUBS’ WEBSITE.

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