In anticipation of this week’s 1242nd edition of Soccer Laduma, we preview some of the features included. The latest edition will be available at your nearest outlet tomorrow, Wednesday, September 22nd.
Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns Preview
It is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on the South African football calendar, as fans know that whenever the two giants collide, the grass is left as the biggest casualty. And this time around, when the Buccaneers welcome the defending champions to Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon, there will be a lot to play for, besides the three points that are obviously on offer. Seeing as it is so early in the season, it is an opportunity for Pirates to gauge their title credentials and to see how much progress they are making, having secured an impressive 3-1 victory against Chippa United last weekend. There is also the small matter of revenge, for this is the team that beat them three times last season. For the Brazilians, it is to ensure they continue with their unbeaten run to the season and notch up another victory against a rival, having recently gotten the better of Kaizer Chiefs, so early in the season as they eye a fifth league title in a row. For the supporters, as is always the case in high-profile games such as this one, bragging rights are on the line. The spotlight will surely fall on Tshegofatso Mabasa and Peter Shalulile, so there is a promise of goals. The big question: Who will win? Don’t miss Soccer Laduma’s preview of this massive clash!
Kaizer Chiefs Goalkeepers Feature
We may only be five matches into the new season at Chiefs under returning coach Stuart Baxter, but the mentor is already laying down a marker with his goalkeeping selections. Despite having worked with Itumeleng Khune between 2012 and 2015 at the Naturena-based club and naming the hugely popular shot-stopper as captain, he has dropped him for the last four matches. In fact, only once has he been on the bench and faces the real prospect of becoming Amakhosi’s forgotten man. Baxter becomes the third coach after Ernst Middendorp and Gavin Hunt to consistently leave Khune out of the starting XI over the last three years. It invites questions. What is the reason for this decision and is Bruce Bvuma finally set to receive regular game-time at Chiefs some four plus years since his debut? Where does that leave Daniel Akpeyi and his ambitions of playing for Nigeria in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations? What about Brandon Petersen, who let in four against Royal AM last weekend? This revealing Soccer Laduma feature seeks to address these questions…
MTN8 Semi-Finals Preview
After the first leg matches both ended in draws, the second leg fixtures are perfectly set up to be enthralling encounters as the four remaining clubs in the competition look to get their names on the trophy after last year’s champions Orlando Pirates were knocked out in the first round. Mamelodi Sundowns got a crucial away goal in KZN against Golden Arrows, as the game finished 1-1. The Tshwane giants are in a good position to get to the final for the first time since they were beaten by Bidvest Wits in 2016 at Mbombela Stadium. Former champions Abafana Bes’thende, however, cannot be taken lightly and will no doubt give their all to try to ensure they edge closer to lifting only their second major title in top-flight football. In the other semi-final tie, Cape Town City and Swallows FC played to a goalless draw in the Mother City, making for an enticing second leg clash to be played at Dobsonville Stadium. Soccer Laduma looks ahead to both matches with a preview.
Also in issue 1242…
Sandile Mthethwa Interview
When Sandile Mthethwa was unveiled at Chippa United in the July/August transfer window, it came as a surprise to some in the football fraternity. He’d had come on as a second half substitute in Orlando Pirates’ opening DStv Premiership match against Stellenbosch FC, while he was an unused substitute against Marumo Gallants. The Empangeni-born player had also been in the matchday squad in the MTN8 fixture against Swallows FC, which happened to be Josef Zinnbauer’s last match in charge of the Buccaneers. What led to the 24-year-old being sent to the Chilli Boys for a third successive loan spell? Whose decision was it and how does he feel about his return to the Gqeberha-based outfit? Soccer Laduma caught up with the product of renowned KZN Academy to unpack the details of his move.
Thibang Phete Interview
Phete is part of a handful of players that have gone straight into Europe’s toughest leagues without kicking a ball in the PSL. The lanky midfielder-cum-defender is now into his sixth season in the Portuguese topflight, where he has grown in leaps and bounds, defying the odds for a lad who hails from a humble town in Kimberley. In his interview with Soccer Laduma, the man affectionately known as “Cafu” opens up on his struggles abroad, why he is not considering a return to Mzansi just yet as well as what his favoured position actually is.
This week, we hear from none other than man of the moment Victor Letsoalo, who scored a brace on the weekend to help Royal AM to a 4-1 thrashing of giants Kaizer Chiefs. The striker reflects on that famous win.
In this week’s edition of the popular Siyagobhoza section, there is news on a forgotten Kaizer Chiefs defender’s situation, a local coach who was recently offered to Orlando Pirates, recent developments on the Al Ahly bench, and more…
Grab a copy of the latest edition of Soccer Laduma at your nearest outlet tomorrow. Don’t miss out!