24 February, 2023
South Africa’s attention will be fixed at FNB Stadium this weekend as Orlando Pirates visit rivals Kaizer Chiefs in another Soweto Derby, with the two teams fighting for three points in the DStv Premiership.
Another fierce battle is anticipated as the two biggest names in South African football face off for the second time this season in a race to be among the country’s representatives in continental football next season.
This particular Derby arrives with the two rivals separated by two log positions, with the Buccaneers occupying third place, three points ahead of Amakhosi.
The visitors come to the clash on the back of some good form having claimed back-to-back wins, the last of which was a 2-1 league victory at home to Maritzburg United.
Pirates have worked their way up from midtable to the verge of breaking into the top two within the space of a few weeks, courtesy of a consistent turn of results where they recorded four wins in their last five games in the Premiership, finding the net 13 times while only conceding four goals.
Their Soweto rivals have not tasted the same success over the past month, and will be looking to bounce back from an unsuccessful outing at home last Sunday, where they fell to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Golden Arrows.
The defeat was Chiefs’ third in their last five league fixtures, where they have managed a total of four points through a 2-0 win at home to a Royal AM plus a goalless stalemate on the road against TS Galaxy.
A further victory in the Nedbank Cup however shows that winning form has not completely deserted the Glamour Boys, who will no doubt be spurred on by the big occasion.
Bucs coach José Riveiro will once again be absent from the bench as he sits out the last game in his red-card suspension.
The Spaniard could be joined on the sidelines by several members of the Pirates playing personnel, who are doubtful starters on Saturday.
Goodman Mosele and Thembinkosi Lorch each left the field prematurely over the last two games and might not feature, joining the likes of Nkosinathi Sibisi and Richard Ofori on the sidelines.
Chiefs have injury worries of their own, with Dillan Solomons and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo both expected to miss out, while Khama Billiat and Reeve Frosler continue to nurse long-term injuries.
Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates): After spending much of the early part of the season on the bench, the Zimbabwean international is enjoying a productive spell in the starting line-up, chipping in with some valuable goal contributions. Dzvukamanja’s knack of delivering during tight periods of the game could prove vital in a fixture where neither side is expected to give an inch.
Christian Saile (Kaizer Chiefs): January signing Christian Saile has been a menace on the wing for Kaizer Chiefs, and will be eyeing a start in his first Soweto Derby. The man from the DR Congo netted his first goal for Amakhosi over the weekend, and will look to make an even bigger impression in what will be his biggest test so far in South African football.
A single goal separated the two sides in the previous Soweto Derby, where Chiefs emerged on the winning side to clinch their fourth league victory in as many games against Pirates.
This means that the Buccaneers will be in search of their first competitive win against Amakhosi since January 2021.
Overall, things have remained tight between the two sides, with Pirates enjoying eight wins in the last 20 derbies across competitions, while Chiefs have come out victorious a total of seven times during this period.
Draws have become rare in recent years, with the last league stalemate dating back to February 2019, where Lorch’s late equaliser cancelled out Daniel Cardoso’s 53rd minute penalty.
How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs
The Soweto Derby is scheduled to kick off at 15:30 on Saturday and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL (202), Variety 4 (209) and SABC1, with match build-up starting at 14:00. Orlando Pirates will provide live updates across the Club’s social media platforms as well as the Orlando Pirates official app.