Jean-Yves Kerjean's youth policy has been the catalyst of Orlando Pirates' resurgence since the Frenchman took over from Augusto Palacios late in October.

The Buccaneers have lost just once in seven league matches under the leadership of the man who came highly recommended by Philippe Troussier.

Troussier, it has to be remembered, is the man who came to Kaizer Chiefs in 1994 and turned the Amakhosi camp into some sort of a kindergarten as he promoted a number of youngsters to the senior side.

And at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Kerjean is sure to stick to the youthful side that has helped Pirates move up the table as the Buccaneers attempt to start what many believe will be the first major step in halting Chiefs' ambition of a clean sweep of titles.

But so much as the youth policy Kerjean loves so dearly is working, the ploy could well backfire in a match renowned as a clash where experience is very important.

Back in 1989, one Terror Sephooa dared to field a youthful side in his maiden Soweto derby.

Need anyone remind the Pirates faithful that their side, which had the lanky Aubrey "Sense" Lekwane making his debut, was given a 3-0 thrashing?

Sephooa, who is now involved with the Kaizer Chiefs development programme said this week he would do the same, given the chance.

"I don't regret doing what I did. I've always believed in youth and that day I felt it was a good plan to use players Chiefs cannot plan against because they were unknowns. So that gives you a far better chance of surprising your opponents.

"Unfortunately for me, the players froze and could not handle the occasion."

Sephooa is of the view that Kerjean should do the same.

"His youngsters have done the job for him and I don't see why he should change now.

"In any case, Chiefs will also use youthful players. Kerjean's advantage is that unlike those at Chiefs, his youngsters are not that well known."

With Chiefs going into the match on the back of two successive losses and Pirates being on a six-match unbeaten run, Kerjean believes the pressure is on Chiefs to bag the three points at stake.

"They're seven points behind us and it's up to them to catch up," Kerjean said as he looked forward to his maiden Soweto derby.

Many would agree with the Frenchman's assessment. In any case Chiefs are placed 10th on the 18-team table while Pirates occupy a lofty fourth position.

But in the Premiership, where certain sides always lag behind others in terms of the number of matches played, the best way to assess the situation in the fight for the championship is to look at the number of points a club has dropped.

And the Amakhosi are better placed than the Buccaneers in this respect.

Though they are out of the top 8 bracket, the club that has already won three major titles this season have dropped fewer points than the other 17 sides in the league.

It is thus Pirates who are in more need of the three points in their quest to defend their title.

What the losses to SuperSport United and Hellenic would have done for Chiefs is bring them down to earth following their incredible performances that saw them win the BP Top 8, Coca Cola Cup and the Caf Cup Winners Cup this season.

And while they will not need any motivation against Pirates - the stature of the game is motivation in itself - the desire to avoid a rare three-match losing streak should inspire Chiefs to a match-winning performance.

But without the inspirational jabu Pule and the solid Nhlanhla Kubeka, both of whom are suspended, Chiefs could well struggle.

Pirates on the other hand have a full squad and young Lesley Manyathela will be looking to continue his good vein of form in the derby.

The lanky striker has scored four goals in Pirates' last six games and the Chiefs defence will be well-advised to keep the player they call "slow poison" in close check.

Probable line-ups:

Kaizer Chiefs (3-5-2): Baloyi; Nzama, Mabedi, Kannemeyer; Zwane, Fredericks, Mbuthu, Mooki, Macamo; Niemach, Sithole

Coach: Muhsin Ertugral

Orlando Pirates (3-5-2): Okpara; Mabizela, Zoa, Lewis; Silent, Lekoelea, Ngobe, Vilakazi, Makhanya; Manyathela, Lota

Coach: Jean-Yves Kerjean

Kick-off: 3:30pm

Venue: FNB Stadium

TV: SABC 1