While both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are still to play their respective matches in the Nedbank Cup this weekend, as well as against their respective opponents in Black Leopards and Maritzburg United in the next round of Absa Premiership fixtures, the countdown to the Soweto Derby has already begun.
Pirates, who will host Chiefs in their second round league match at FNB Stadium, have confirmed that they expect ‘sold out’ signs to go up as the tickets have been selling fast, although the focus for both teams this weekend will be in the Nedbank Cup, with Chiefs hosting GladAfrica Championship outfit Royal Eagles at Soccer City on Saturday, while Pirates will be in Orlando on Sunday for their clash with Bidvest Wits.
While Chiefs may boast about having already beaten Pirates two times this season, in Telkom Knockout and league respectively, coach Ernst Middendorp will know that their opponents appear to be a different side under his countryman Josef Zinnbauer, compared to earlier in the season under Rulani Mokwena, as there have been notable improvement in the team’s results.
Since Zinnbauer’s arrival at the Buccaneers in December, the team has collected an impressive 19 points out of a possible 21 points from 7 matches.
The German mentor has led Bucs to 6 wins and a draw, with the side having since overtaken Mamelodi Sundowns to 2nd place on the log, and behind Chiefs by 9 points.
Pirates’ form under Zinnbauer: W-D-W-W-W-W-W
Chiefs’ form under Middendorp in their last 7 matches: W-D-L-W-W-D-W
The eagerly-awaited Soweto Derby is scheduled for February 29.