Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs square off in the latest edition of the Soweto Derby today and we take a look at some of the key talking points.
Today’s game will get underway in the FNB stadium with the clubs’ fans gearing up for the upcoming season and eager to get a look at how their teams will start to take shape.
Recent form (Absa Premiership):
Kaizer Chiefs – WLLDD
Orlando Pirates – LDDLL
Both teams ended last season’s Absa Premiership off on a disappointing note, but Amakhosi will take consolation from the fact that they concluded their season with a win over the league champions, Bidvest Wits, in front of their own fans.
Goals scored/conceded (2016/17)
Kaizer Chiefs - 39/28
Orlando Pirates – 29/40
Chiefs ranked fifth in the league in terms of goals scored, but had one of the best defences, finishing third in the league charts last season. Finishing in 10th place and 13th for goals scored and conceded, respectively, Pirates will be hoping to rectify their faults at either end of the pitch last season. However, Pirates’ attack was not short of opportunities, having taken the sixth most shots per game (12.9), while Chiefs were far behind in 11th place in that regard, with just 11.7 shots per game.
The midfield battle
Both Soweto giants were relatively even when it came to passing and boasted relatively strong midfielders going forward, with 467.2 passes per match and 454.6 passes per game for Chiefs and Pirates, respectively. They finished third and fourth, respectively on the league charts in that regard.
Where could the goals come from?
It was Siphiwe Tshabalala and Tendai Ndoro who scored the most goals for their respective club last season, with the dreadlocked maestro finding the back of the net on seven occasions, while the Zimbabwean scored 12, the second-best tally in the league. Bernard Parker (five) and Luvuyo Memela (four) were the top assist providers for their teams last season and will likely prove to be crucial for their teams’ attacking movements.
Since the start of the 2008/09 season, Pirates and Chiefs have matched each other, in terms of results, in terms of wins (four each), drawing another 10. Furthermore, four of the last five league meetings have ended in draws. The history of Black Label Cup also indicates that we’re in for a close encounter with all four of Pirates’ victories being the result of penalty shootouts, while Chiefs’ 2-0 victory was the first time that either side has scored more than once since the competition’s inception in 2011.
Chiefs’ appear to have the advantage in terms of their results last season, but it’s now up to Pirates to boost their confidence and show that they are still amongst Mzansi’s elite, given that they take on an opponent who they have matched when called upon for one of the biggest fixtures of the season every step of the way in recent history.
What is your prediction for today’s game?