Nedbank Cup Semifinal Preview: Kaizer Chiefs

The nations’ attention will be fixed at FNB Stadium this Saturday as Orlando Pirates visit rivals Kaizer Chiefs in another Soweto Derby as the two rivals contest the first Nedbank Cup semifinal.

A spot in the last two of the prestigious competition is at stake as the country’s two biggest football clubs lock horns as the Buccaneers look to collect their second piece of silverware this season, with an Amakhosi side in a bid to end a long trophy drought standing in their way.

Form Guide

Both teams were in league action in the week leading to the mammoth league encounter, with points dropped by each camp.

Pirates saw their six-game league winning streak come to an end as they conceded late at home to Royal AM, who forced a 1-1 stalemate.

It was the first time the Buccaneers had failed to emerge on the winning side in their last eight games across competitions, having overpowered a list of opponents that included Venda Football Academy and Dondol Stars in the two previous rounds of the Nedbank Cup.

They now face their first top-flight adversary in the competition after being drawn against their Soweto rivals, who went past Casric Stars and Royal AM over the same period en route to the semis.

Chiefs have stuttered along in the league and come off a 2-1 defeat to Swallows on Monday, which made it two defeats in their last three outings, but will look to bounce back in what is not only the last, but also the most crucial Soweto Derby this season.

Team News 

Both sides could be missing key players on Saturday, with each camp having had to do with a couple of its stars over the past few weeks.

Bucs Captain Innocent Maela sat out his side’s last two games, while midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch has been recovering from a knock picked up in the lead up to the home victory against Cape Town City two weeks ago.

The visitors will however be boosted by the return of midfield pair Miguel Timm and Kabelo Dlamini, who have each served a brief suspension and will be available for selection.

Chiefs are set to be without attacking midfielder Keagan Dolly, who limped off in the recent defeat to Sekhukhune, while defender Edmilson Dove is yet to feature since the same fixture.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Brandon Peterson is likely to slot back into the starting XI after missing the game against Swallows due to a one-match ban.

Key Players 

Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates): Dzvukamanja’s uncanny ability to deliver at crucial moments has seen him bang in the goals regularly since becoming a permanent fixture in the Bucs line-up, and the player could require some special attention from the opposition defence on Saturday. The 28-year-old’s clever runs into the box – coupled with his precise finishing – make him a potential game-changer in what could be a tight fixture.

Ashley du Preez (Kaizer Chiefs): The speedy forward is currently the club’s leading goal scorer in the ongoing season, with nine goals across competition. Du Preez has been a key component in Chiefs’ charge for silverware, finding the net in each of the two opening rounds of the Nedbank Cup and will be desperate to make another such contribution against his side’s biggest rivals.

Head-to-Head 

The two teams have been engaged in several close encounters in recent seasons, and it has been Chiefs who have enjoyed success in the past couple of years, with victories in each of the last five instalments of the Soweto Derby.

These have however all come in league football, and its Pirates’ who boast the more favourable record in knockout competition, having eliminated their bitter rivals four times in their last five cup meetings, with their only defeat coming via the lottery of penalties.

Their last meeting in the Nedbank Cup came in the competition’s opening round in March 2016, where a second-half brace from Tendai Ndoro handed the Buccaneers passage into the next round via a 2-0 scoreline.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs 

The highly-anticipated clash is scheduled to kick off at 15:00, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL and SABC 1. Live updates will also be provided across all Orlando Pirates social media platforms, as well as the Club’s official app.

Tickets for the game are available at TicketPro outlets nationwide.
 

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