Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs with Josef Zinnbauer, coach of Orlando Pirates. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs with Josef Zinnbauer, coach of Orlando Pirates. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Who will rule the weekend's Soweto derby?

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Feb 25, 2020

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DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have a few scores to settle when they meet in the Soweto Derby at the FNB Stadium this weekend.

Here we look at some of those battles which could define the derby.

Revenge on the cards

Kaizer Chiefs tormented Orlando Pirates at the start of the season. They dumped the Buccaneers out of the Telkom Knockout in the quarter-finals and a few weeks later they beat their sworn rivals 3-2 in an Absa Premiership match. No doubt the Sea Robbers will be seeking revenge, eager to avoid being whitewashed by Amakhosi this season.

The battle of the Germans

Ernst Middendorp will come head to head with Jozef Zinnbauer for the first time.

Middendorp is chasing his maiden league title in South African football while Zinnabuer also is looking for his first piece of silverware in Mzansi. Chiefs are at the summit of the PSL table while the Buccaneers are third. The game on Saturday might spell the end of the title aspirations for the Buccaneers if they lose and victory can offer them a sense of optimism. 

It remains to be seen as to who will win the battle of the Germans this weekend.

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Gabadinho Mhango v Samir Nurkovic

The two forwards are in a rich vein of form. The duo are battling it out for the coveted Golden Boot. All eyes will be on them to deliver the goods for their respective sides.

Mhango is leading the pack with 14 goals while Nurkovic has 11 goals. The duo are the hottest property in the league right now. Mhango hasn’t scored in the last two games but will be looking to continue with his impressive goal-scoring record in the derby. He has featured in two Soweto derbies and has scored in both of them. 

Nurkovic will be looking to reduce Mhango’s lead and having already scored a hat-trick this season, the Serbian would love nothing more than to get another in the derby.

The hunger to end the barren run of trophies

Both sides are going through a trophy drought. They haven’t lifted silverware in the past five years.

Chiefs haven’t tasted success since 2015 when they reigned supreme in the league. They have already missed out on the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and the Nedbank Cup this season. It is the same story but a different script for the Sea Robbers.

Their last success was back in 2014 when they walked away as the winners of the Nedbank Cup. Like Chiefs, Pirates have missed out on three trophies in the current season. 

The league is their last hope of silverware and the derby can go a long way in helping them get closer to that seemingly elusive trophy success.


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