Soweto derby: how the teams match up

2014-07-20 15:02

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There won’t be any surprises in the line-up for the first of the three guaranteed Soweto derbies of the season between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

But judging by the selections of their respective supporters, both teams seem to lack balance.

The votes went to popularity rather than players who can do the job.

Couch coaches will get their day on Saturday, but they will realise the job is not for the faint-hearted.

Chiefs captain and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has once again showed his popularity, amassing more than two million votes. His Pirates counterpart Senzo Meyiwa is also on the brink of breaking the million-vote mark.

But judging from the polls, Pirates might be unbalanced in midfield as supporters have opted for the attacking line-up of Daine Klate, Tlou Segolela, Oupa Manyisa and Sifiso Myeni.

This might leave their defence exposed, as there is no hardman – new recruit Issa Sarr, and Thandani Ntshumayelo are still behind on votes.

Interestingly, Pirates supporters have shown faith in former Chiefs’ striker Lehlohonolo Majoro to lead their attack, with Kermit Erasmus second on the strikers’ list. Majoro scored the only goal of last year’s game, which won Chiefs their maiden Carling Cup.

Supporters have not shown the same faith in their captain, Lucky Lekgwathi, who is way down the pecking order of defenders. They have gone with Thabo Matlaba, Happy Jele, Rooi Mahamutsa and Siyabonga Sangweni.

Willard Katsande, who was Chiefs’ best player last season, seems not to be popular with Amakhosi supporters.?He might not be in the starting line-up.

Supporters prefer Siphiwe Tshabalala, George Lebese, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and George Maluleka in the engine room.

With the absence of Bernard Parker, who is reportedly out for 10 weeks after undergoing an ankle operation, and Knowledge Musona’s future at Chiefs still unclear, Amakhosi supporters should turn to Kingston Nkhatha.

Katlego Mphela looks set to lead the Chiefs attack. Their back four should be made up by Eric Mathoho, Tefu Mashamaite, Tsepo Masilela and Siboniso Gaxa.

Supporters have 48 more hours to change their teams as voting lines close on Tuesday night, with the teams to be revealed on Wednesday morning.

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