Playing badly or in top form? It doesn’t matter … the Soweto derby usually throws the form book out of the window.
Orlando Pirates were stronger than Kaizer Chiefs in the league last season, however, Amakhosi won the last two derbies.
The Glamour Boys’ form
Chiefs have won two and lost one of their last three games.
One of those wins ended the nine league game unbeaten run of SuperSport United.
Their midfield has improved with Njabulo Ngcobo shielding the defenders while cutting down opponents’ build-up.
Left-winger Keagan Dolly is gradually gaining confidence and links well with false 9 Khama Billiat.
What’s lacking for the Chiefs?
They still can’t rotate the ball properly and lose possession recklessly. Baxter should trust Nkosingiphile Ngcobo with a center attacker position instead of the slow Pathutshedzo Nange.
In the last game, they started Cole Alexander as a central midfielder but he wasn’t influential. Rather than him, perhaps the deep-lying playmaker Kearyn Baccus could anchor the midfield if granted a chance.
Playing long balls to Billiat isn’t a good idea since he’s a center forward not an out-and-out striker. Building up the attack calmly would create them more chances upfront.
Buccaneers short of goals
Pirates have only scored three goals in their previous six games in all competitions. Their regular frontman Tshegofatso Mabasa has only scored one goal in his last five games.
Pirates need a playmaker
Mabasa doesn’t have sufficient supply of the ball from the midfield. Fortune Makaringe, the so-called Bucs playmaker can’t maintain the flow of the team’s play and offensive attack.
What should the coach do? The newly signed Ntsako Makhubela should start ahead of Makaringe. “Neverdie” is quicker and the fast-moving Pirates style of play suits him. He still wants to prove himself and wouldn’t waste the opportunity.
The rise of Olisa Ndah
The Bucs’ new center-back means business and was quick to gel Pirates’ shaky defense. He will have a tough test against an improved Chiefs’ attack.
Clubs’ recent results
Chiefs – LWWDD
Pirates – WDWDD
Siyabonga Ngezana – Injured (Chiefs)
Leonardo Castro – Injured (Chiefs)
Samir Nurkovic – Injured (Chiefs)
Lebohang Manyama – Doubtful (Chiefs)
Thembinkosi Lorch – Injured (Pirates)
Innocent Maela – Injured (Pirates)
Ben Motshwari – Injured (Pirates)
Richard Ofori – Injured (Pirates)
Zakhele Lepasa – Injured (Pirates)
The match will be played on Saturday at FNB Stadium with Kick-Off at 15:30.
Both teams haven’t been consistent lately but the Buccaneers are far better than Chiefs with their structure and ball movement. I foresee the Bucs winning this one.
Sinethemba Sithole’s prediction:
Kaizer Chiefs 0-1 Orlando Pirates