Ahead of the Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the biggest football match in the country, legends from both teams give their predictions to Mihlali Baleka on what looks to be a mouth-watering clash today.
“What will make this derby exciting is the new personnel in both teams. Before, we knew who would start the game even before match-day, but now we don’t know the starting line-up until it’s released by the teams. Everyone wants to win. There is a contrast in the style of play. Pirates are more offensive whereas Chiefs are more defensive.’’
Prediction: “Pirates probably have the upper hand because they are full of energy. Chiefs are struggling to get goals and even though Pirates are leaky in the back, everyone is scoring at Pirates.’’
“A big highlight would be seeing one of the teams actually winning, instead of the usual draw. Winning is in the mentality of both teams, though, and this is a totally different derby. I believe we are going to see goals.
“For me, what is happening at Pirates now is what happened at Mamelodi Sundowns. Assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena is playing the big role and calling the shots, and not the head coach."
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic
“Pirates are complacent at the moment. I also believe striker Bernard Morrison is on top of his game. He’ll want to make things right this time after using his hand to score the last time.’’
“There’ll be a winner this year. Chiefs have an advantage due to experience. Pirates have new kids on the block, who are playing according to Micho’s tactics. He has done extremely well since returning to the club, making Pirates play with ease and that will increase their chances of doing well, not only in the derby but also in the league and elsewhere."
Prediction: “Pirates will win this one. Thembinkosi Lorch will shine for them."
“I am looking at the current form but some say form doesn’t’ count when it comes to the derby. So the structure of the league is what makes this derby exciting. If Chiefs win, they go over Pirates. What matters most is that both teams are in the championship race.
“Chiefs must come out and play. Pirates are looking sharp and they are scoring goals. Look at the last game against Chippa United; they played with freedom.’’
Prediction: “I know that Chiefs’ fans won’t like this but I’d give it to Pirates, who are looking to build on Sunday’s performance against Chippa and have a higher mileage."
“You look at the current performances of the two teams, and both have a lot that’s at stake. We tend to say coaches make teams to be defensive. Players decide the outcome of a game like the derby. So this will be a very interesting game, particularly looking at the positions on the log - Pirates are second while Chiefs sit in third place.
“This game will test the psychological strength of the players because of Sundowns’ game on Friday. So both teams will have to step up."
Prediction: “For me, Chiefs have the upper hand. But you can never discredit any team in the derby. This is why I think that they are even. It will all depend on who wants it more.’’
“What makes this derby particularly interesting is that both teams are gunning for the league title. It’s a six-pointer at the moment. Hype about the derby is good because a good turnout from the fans in the stands will have an impact on the players.
“Pirates will have more confidence because they are good offensively, while Chiefs are more defensive.’’
Prediction: “Chiefs will have an advantage going into this one because they are underdogs. But I don’t want to be biased and say who’ll be the outright winner. This is because of my attachment to both teams."