Five players who could revive their careers in the Soweto derby

Evidence Makgopa will be hoping to deliver a strong performance against Chiefs this weekend. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

Evidence Makgopa will be hoping to deliver a strong performance against Chiefs this weekend. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

Published Feb 20, 2023


Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are all set for yet another blockbuster edition in the latest instalment of the Soweto derby.

The Buccaneers and Chiefs will meet at FNB Stadium on Saturday with a capacity crowd expected to grace the occasion.

With both teams still vying for Caf Champions League spots, both sets of players will look to contribute in this huge match-up and possibly form part of the starting 11 for the rest of the season.

IOL Sports’ Smiso Msomi takes a look at five players who could revive their careers in the derby:

Njabulo Ngcobo

The 2021-22 PSL Defender of the Season has had a season to forget for Chiefs so far, hardly featuring in Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane’s team with his frustrations visible on several occasions.

Njabulo Ngcobo has been deployed in an unfamiliar central defensive midfield position in the few appearances he had made this season, and will hope for a look in at centre back as Chiefs’ defensive struggles continue.

The Durban-born player will hope Zwane shuffles his defensive pack once again in the Soweto derby and hand him an opportunity to endear himself to fans, who lauded his arrival at the club.

Phathutshedzo Nange

Phathutshedzo Nange’s drop down pecking order of Chiefs’ central midfielders has been a topic of great interest as Zwane looks to establish his most trusted men at the middle of the park.

The 31-year-old has made just four appearances for the Chiefs this season, three of them as a substitute, however, his experience in Soweto derbies might give him the nod over the likes of Siyethemba Sithebe and Samkelo Zwane.

With Chiefs in a bad run of form, Nange will hope to be an instigator in an upturn in performances for the whole team.

Ben Motshwari

Ben Motshwari, one of Pirates’ most consistent performers over the years seems to not have impressed coach Jose Riveiro hence his absence from the team for a while.

After making two substitute appearances in the last four games, it is not far-fetched he would want to make an impression if he made it onto the pitch against Chiefs.

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Evidence Makgopa

Evidence Makgopa’s arrival at Pirates was one of the most exciting signings at the beginning of the season, following his exploits with Baroka FC and Bafana Bafana.

Apart from injury, Makgopa has failed to force himself into the starting 11 with a few substitute appearances, however a goal in the derby might be the blockbuster start he needs.

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Thabani Dube

It will be interesting to see whether Zwane opts to keep Thabani Dube in his starting 11, despite Chiefs conceding three goals against Golden Arrows at the weekend.

The 30-year-old played his first game of the season against Arrows and if he can follow that up with a strong performance against Pirates, Dube will not only earn the trust of Zwane, but of the Chiefs faithful as well.


IOL Sport