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Derby Debate - Who Should Replace Khune?

Itumeleng Khune's ankle injury means that either of Kaizer Chiefs duo of backup goalkeepers, Brilliant Khuzwayo or Reyaad Pieterse, will have to take his place in goal for Saturday's (March 15) hotly-anticipated Soweto derby.

Khune is expected to be ruled out and one of the two goalkeepers will have to deputize in his absence. Recent reports have suggested the Bafana Bafana number one could make a miraculous recovery in time for the game, although at this stage it seems more likely he won't play.

It's perhaps the chance of a lifetime for one of the two youngsters to really establish themselves as a reliable performer at PSL level. However, the derby is a massive occasion and the pressure created as a result is simply immense.

In other words, being the last line of defence in arguably the biggest game on the African continent is no laughing matter. You can live and die by the decisions you make as a goalkeeper, and any obvious errors made will be analysed, picked apart and remembered.

For Pieterse, who is 22, it would be the second time he's featured for Chiefs in a PSL match. The tall shot-stopper made his debut for the club in November last year after coming on as a substitute for Itumeleng Khune.

Meanwhile, Khuzwayo also had one official league appearance for the Glamour Boys to his name - the 24-year-old made one start in 2012/13 in a game against Platinum Stars. The Durban-born keeper did well to keep a clean sheet on debut.

Nonetheless, with the gigantic moment of a derby approaching, it remains to be seen who Stuart Baxter will decide to go with on the day. It appears Pieterse could be a slight favourite as he started recently against Liga Muculmana in the Caf Champions League.

Perhaps in his favour is that he boasts a big frame and his added height is also a valuable weapon in his arsenal. However, Khuzwayo has slightly more PSL experience given he saw game time during his time with AmaZulu earlier in his career.   

 Yet, with so much on the line on Saturday, who Baxter decides to go with could really have a big say about the result on the day. A brilliant display from either players could launch a career into the stratosphere of South African football.

A poor one could permanently shatter the confidence and potentially end a career before it's really even started. It's no doubt going to be a tough choice for Baxter because replacing a player of Khune's quality and influence is no easy task. 

Why not have your say - which keeper should start against Orlando Pirates? 

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