The battle lines are drawn in Soweto as Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs prepare for a showdown at FNB Stadium, and this clash means a bit more than it has done in the past…
As Josef Zinnbauer and Ernst Middendorp mull over their team selection this evening ahead of tomorrow’s encounter, they will be very aware of what victory – or defeat – could do to their title ambitions for the Absa Premiership this season.
A win for Pirates will see them close Chiefs’ lead over them to just three points, but a win for the Glamour Boys would take them eight points clear and possibly end Bucs’ hopes of pushing for the 2019/20 title.
Daniel Cardoso, who has been ever-present for Chiefs this season and has developed a knack for scoring against the Buccaneers, knows the importance of the encounter in Soweto, saying they have to bounce back after defeat against Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup last time out.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the centre back said, “This game is very vital for us as it is against a fellow league contender… If they win, they close the gap on us, so we are well aware of what is at stake, that is why we have been working hard all week long to ensure that we come out with a positive result.
“Coming off a loss, we know we have to bounce back. We have the fans behind us, we have led the log standings from the start, and we don’t want it to slip away from us. So, we will do all we can to ensure we make the fans happy on Saturday.”
Cardoso is expected to line-up alongside Erick Mathoho at the heart of Chiefs’ defence as they aim for their clean sheet against Pirates in the league since 2017.