Soweto derby remains top fixture despite Chiefs, Bucs struggles

No matter how badly both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs may be doing in the league, the Soweto derby still brings a little bit of consolation and some excitement to soccer fans.

Both teams, who have fallen way behind Premier Soccer League log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, will meet in a semi-final of the Nedbank Cup at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The Soweto derby may have lost its shine but it will still be the talking point throughout the week across the country, and Chiefs need it the most because they have not won an official cup tournament in eight years.

The last time they brought some silverware to their Naturena headquarters was in 2015 under Stuart Baxter, and their trophy cabinet is now beginning to resemble that of the Lesotho Olympic Committee.

But Chiefs, even with their struggles, have won the last five league derbies in a row against Pirates. The last time Bucs defeated Amakhosi in an official game was in January 2021, and these statistics will surely worry the Buccaneers faithful.

If they are able to beat Bucs, the Glamour Boys will fancy their chances of ending their cup drought.

In the other semi-final, Stellenbosch FC will face Sekhukhune United at the Danie Craven Stadium in Cape Town the following day.

Beating Pirates will make Chiefs believe that they are capable of downing whoever gets to the final between Stellies and Ba Bina Noko.

Meanwhile, Pirates are enjoying a great run of form and are on a six-match winning streak. In fact, the last time Bucs lost a match was against Amakhosi. 

They will use the match against TS Galaxy today at the Mbombela Stadium to fine-tune their preparations for the much-awaited cup derby.

Pirates players seem to have finally settled down and are responding to coach Jose Riveiro’s tactics and methods.

Players like Monnapule Saleng, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Miguel Timm, Thabang Monare and Kabelo Dlamini have been turning it up for the Buccaneers, with Saleng netting 10 times in the league and providing five assists.

But they will have to keep an eye on Chiefs’ speedy forward Ashley du Preez. Also to be kept under watch are Samkelo Zwane, Mduduzi Shabalala and Siyethemba Sithebe.

Caleb Bimenyimana and Christian Saile also present danger when they get going.

So, it will be interesting to see how embattled Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane will line them up.

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