Register Login Live

Tactics Talk – Did Bucs Pick the Wrong Midfield?

In Saturday’s 1-1 draw in the Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates decided to change from their usual 4-2-3-1 shape featuring four attacking players and instead added Ben Motshwari to midfield alongside Xola Mlambo and Musa Nyatama. This meant Augustine Mulenga was dropped to the bench. Did it work? 

Why change?

Coach Milutin Sredojevic may have looked at a strong Kaizer Chiefs midfield and decided he could not afford to start just two specialists in his engine room. Amakhosi have been playing with three in midfield since Ernst Middendorp took over, so this selection seemed to be in order to 'match up' to their opponents. However, Chiefs surprised Pirates by playing 4-4-2 and man-marking Vincent Pule and Thembinkosi Lorch and putting the onus on the Bucs midfield to be a goal threat.  

What it means

With Motshwari, Mlambo and Nyatama all together, Pirates are well equipped to dominate possession and control proceedings in the middle of the park, but they lose an attacking player. None of the other three is regular goalscorers or chance creators. This selection meant Ben Motshwari had to play as an attacking midfielder and his lack of finishing ability was seen in the derby as he missed a good chance in the 11th minute.

Has it worked before?

So far this season, Pirates have started that midfield trio on four occasions:

1-0 loss vs. Bidvest Wits (Home - League)

1-0 win vs. Chippa United (Home – Telkom Knockout)

0-0 draw vs. Esperance (Home – CAF Champions League)

1-1 draw vs. Kaizer Chiefs (Away - League)

In those four games, Pirates only won one game and scored just two goals in those matches. Against Esperance, the side made 544 passes but had no shots on target and only six attempts in total. The trio all like to dictate proceedings and keep the ball, but none offer threatening shooting from long-range or able to dribble as Mulenga can offer. 

Did Micho get his midfield team selection wrong? Should Mulenga have started? How would you set up the team going forward? Let us know by commenting below!

nextarticle

Middendorp: Chiefs Should’ve Beat Pirates, Sundowns & City…

7 comments

Top 5

Breaking: Micho Quits!

403 Aug 16, 2019 10:33 PM in Orlando Pirates

Official: Real Unveil New No.7

48 Aug 11, 2019 08:01 PM in LaLiga

What’s Really Happening With Billiat? Middendorp Speaks

85 Aug 11, 2019 11:37 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

The Highest-Paid Man Utd Stars After Maguire Signing

2 Aug 13, 2019 07:57 PM in Cadbury

Bafana Duo Continue Impressive Start In Europe

28 Aug 11, 2019 09:00 PM in Players Abroad

Exclusive: Downs Confirm Billiat Talks!

363 Aug 13, 2019 04:15 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

All 16 Absa Prem Home Kits For 2019/20...

40 Aug 13, 2019 03:00 PM in PSL

Breaking: Micho Quits!

403 Aug 16, 2019 10:33 PM in Orlando Pirates

Sundowns’ Record Billiat Bid Revealed!

227 Aug 14, 2019 12:07 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

The Highest-Paid Coaches At Afcon Revealed?

108 Jul 11, 2019 07:38 PM in AFCON 2019

Why Chiefs Boss Was ‘Particularly Happy’…

36 Aug 06, 2019 10:16 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

The Highest-Paid Footballers In The World Today

13 Apr 02, 2019 12:30 PM in International

Pitso Explains ‘Strategic’ Seabi Signing

35 Aug 06, 2019 11:20 AM in Mamelodi Sundowns