Giovanni Solinas is fully focused on the Telkom Knockout clash with Black Leopards and is not thinking about the Soweto Derby. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

It is the biggest game on the local calendar, and the sold-out signs have already gone up for next Saturday’s Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium.

And while we all hope that it won’t be another ‘drawby’, the excitement is already emanating among the respective teams’ sets of fans, as they work out who should be in the starting XI, and whether any injured players will be back in action in time.

But Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas knows he and his team can’t afford to get ahead of themselves and think of next week already.

His predecessor Steve Komphela was unable to win any silverware in three seasons, and that is his primary task for this season.

One opportunity has already slipped away in the MTN8, and next up is the Telkom Knockout, starting against Black Leopards on Sunday at the FNB Stadium (3.30pm).

“It is a special game, very important game for everybody. But we have a very important game on Sunday, so we don’t lose the focus. I am available to talk to you about the derby from Monday,” Solinas said at a PSL press conference on Thursday.

“The game for us is very important. We need to prepare very well for this game, and continue to prepare for this game.

“Tomorrow (Friday), the international players will join us, so we will have two days to prepare for the cup game.”

While Solinas has already lost Lebogang Manyama following the midfielder’s car accident on Tuesday, the Italian is also waiting to see if star attacker Khama Billiat will recover from a back ailment picked up on international duty with Zimbabwe.

 

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