Five Chiefs player to watch in the Soweto derby

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Lebogang Manyama of Kaizer Chiefs
  • Post published:November 23, 2018

With both teams desperate to end their trophy drought, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will battle it out for a spot in the Telkom Knockout final. Chiefs are without a win in 10 games against their rivals and will be hoping that their star players stand up to the occasion, SoccerClub writer DEAN WORKMAN has picked out five Chiefs players to watch in Saturday’s derby.

Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs
Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs

1) Itumeleng Khune

Khune has shown his worth time and time again for Kaizer Chiefs over the years, and this season has been no different.

The Bafana Bafana number one has been called upon several times this season at vital moments in games where he generally comes out on top.

After saving a penalty in the 2-1 derby loss in October, Khune will be desperate to help his side not only progress to the TKO finals but also slay their recent demons against their biggest rivals.

Kaizer Chiefs star Khama Billiat
Kaizer Chiefs star Khama Billiat

2) Khama Billiat

Since his arrival from Mamelodi Sundowns in the off season, Billiat has undoubtedly become the star man at Natuerna.

The Zimbabwean has been involved in 10 goals (six goals and five assists) in his 17 games for the Amakhosi so far and has brought a sprinkle of star dust to their forward line which was missing on occasion last campaign.

Billiat opened the scoring in the defeat to Pirates a few weeks ago and after getting a taste of South Africa’s biggest derby he will undoubtedly be looking to fire his side into what would be a massive cup final.

Kaizer Chiefs striker Leo Castro
Kaizer Chiefs striker Leo Castro

3) Leonardo Castro

Another former Sundowns man in Castro could also have a big impact on the weekend. The Colombian had just returned from injury for October’s derby and subsequently produced a sluggish performance before being substituted by Giovanni Solinas.

This time, however, Castro will be fully fit and rested after having the international break to recover.

The striker will undoubtedly look to leverage his understanding with Billiat to help guide the Glamour Boys past the Buccaneers.

Kaizer Chiefs attacker Lebogang Manyama
Kaizer Chiefs attacker Lebogang Manyama

4) Lebogang Manyama

The former Cape Town City man has had a slow start to life at Naturena after he was involved in a car accident earlier on in the season.

As a result of his injuries from the crash, and his lack of fitness when arriving at the club, Manyama has only made four appearances for Solina’s team.

Despite all of this Manyama looks in line to make a comeback against Pirates, and while he may be lacking match sharpness, he certainly has the ability and class to still make a vital contribution for the Amakhosi.

Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs
Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs

5) Willard Katsande

The 32-year-old midfielder has been a vital player at the base of the Chiefs midfield for a number of years and although his powers look to beginning to wane the Zimbabwean is still proving to be influential for the Glamour Boys.

Katsande has an important battle in the midfield ahead of him at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and will be looking to produce a vintage display to help starve Pirates possession of the ball.

The Sea Robbers have been praised for their ability to retain possession during games, but if Katasande is on top form for the clash, Pirates may just have to rethink their game plan.