Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will face off in a pre-season Soweto derby on Saturday as both teams look for the perfect confidence booster ahead of the new season, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
Although the Soweto giants both saw their trophy droughts extended in the 2018-19 season, it was the Buccaneers who enjoyed the more positive of campaigns as they challenged for the Absa Premiership, eventually finishing second just two points behind champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Pirates also returned to Africa’s premium cup competition in the Caf Champions League, where they got out of the qualifying stages to book a spot in the group stages before narrowly missing out on a spot in the knockout rounds.
Milutin Sredojevic’s team also fell at the final hurdle in the Telkom Knockout as they lost to Baroka in a penalty shootout after going so close to ending their search for silverware.
Pirates have looked to build on their improvements of last season and brought in several new signings in a bid to reclaim past glories with the likes of Joris Delle, Austin Muwowo, Bongani Sam, Kabelo Dlamini, Tshegofatso Mabasa, Gabadinho Mhango, Tebogo Tlolane, Fortune Makaringe and Siphesihle Ndlovu having all made the switch to the Buccaneers.
— Dean Workman (@DeanoWorks) July 25, 2019
Chiefs, on the other hand, suffered a disappointing 2018-19 campaign to say the least.
It started with Italian coach Giovanni Solinas in charge but after an inconsistent start he was replaced by German Ernst Middendorp in December.
Chiefs continually struggled in the league, while they also failed to reach the Caf Confederations Cup group stages after losing to Zesco United in the qualifying rounds.
While Amakhosi showed signs of improvement under the German, they still struggled for consistency as injuries and individual mistakes continued to plague the team.
This resulted in Chiefs eventually finishing ninth in the league, for the first time outside the top eight since 2006-07.
There was a glimmer of hope, though, as they progressed all the way to the Nedbank Cup final where they faced off against NFD side TS Galaxy.
No one gave the NFD side a chance but they managed to produce one of the shock results in South African football history as they became the first second division side to win the prestigious cup competition, at the expense of an embarrassed Chiefs side.
— Dean Workman (@DeanoWorks) July 24, 2019
The powers that be at Naturena have looked to rectify their recent woes by releasing a number of their players while bringing in the likes of midfielder Kearyn Baccus, Serbian striker Samir Nurkovic, Ghanaian midfielder James Kotei and highly rated Zambian forward Lazarous Kambole.
The Soweto giants have both been hard at work as they prepare for the new season and will get the opportunity to get the season off to the perfect start when they square up in the unique Carling Black Label Cup.
In the pre-season cup competition the fans vote for their staring XI while they also get to influence decisions such as substitutions and who will captain the side.
Pirates have dominated the fixture in recent seasons, but as the high-profile friendly returns to the calendar after being absent in 2018 Chiefs will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories following their triumphs in 2016 and 2017. They do, though, currently trail Pirates 4-3 in terms of overall CBLC wins.
The match will take place at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon and is scheduled for a 3pm kick-off.
— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) July 25, 2019
Fans have voted for the following lineups for the clash:
Bruce Bvuma, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Cardoso, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Lorenzo Gordinho, George Maluleka, Siphelele Ntshangase, Dumisani Zuma, Khama Billiat, Bernard Parker, Lazarous Kambole.
Wayne Sandilands, Mthokozisi Dube, Happy Jele, Justice Chabalala, Innocent Maela, Thembinkosi Lorch, Vincent Pule, Ben Motshwari, Luvuyo Memela, Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga.
Past CBLC results
2011 – Orlando Pirates 0-0 Kaizer Chiefs – Pirates won 4-3 on penalties
2012 – Orlando Pirates 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs – Pirates won 5-4 on penalties
2013 – Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 Orlando Pirates
2014 – Orlando Pirates 0-0 Kaizer Chiefs – Pirates won 6-5 on penalties
2015 – Orlando Pirates 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs – Pirates won 4-3 on penalties
2016 – Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 Orlando Pirates
2017 – Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 Orlando Pirates
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