Clash of the titans

2014-12-06 00:00

KAIZER Chiefs are wary of the wounded animal that is Orlando Pirates, ahead of their Absa ­Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium today.

The match kicks off at 3.30 pm.

The Buccaneers are not in the best place at the moment after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Maritzburg United in their midweek league match, which ­consequently ended Vladimir Vermezovic’s reign as their coach.

Now, assistant coach Eric Tinkler has taken charge for the big derby as they try to close the 15-point gap between themselves and Chiefs on the table where Pirates are seventh with 18 points and chiefs lead the way with 33 points.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Chiefs have met in 57 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have 23 wins compared to 12 for the Buccaneers, while 22 matches have been drawn.

Last season, the Amakhosi took four points off their Soweto rivals, drawing 1-1 at home and ­winning 1-0 away.

Key Players

Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates)

Manyisa’s form often translates to Pirates’ display on the day.

He is the backbone of the Buccaneers’ midfield. His ability to dictate the pace of the game could come in hand for Pirates, especially considering Chiefs will be running at Pirates.

His midfield partner Andile Jali might have left the club but Manyisa has established himself in the team and combines well with Issa Sarr and ­Thandani Ntshumayelo. Should he win the midfield battle against Reneilwe Letsholonyane then Pirates can go all the way.

Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs)

The Chiefs talisman has been struggling for form since returning from injury but on Wednesday night he scored two beautiful goals, which should serve as a big confidence booster for today.

Even Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter said Parker is key to the puzzle. “Bernard was class. I always stress, if we can get Bernard firing on all cylinders, that’s good news for Chiefs. I keep saying that Bernard is probably one of the smartest players in the PSL.”

Team News


“We have no major injuries. Only Lucky Lekgwathi is out.

“Thabo Matlaba picked up a knock but he should be ready. Thabo Qalinge had a death in his family. He won’t be available for the derby.” — Pirates ­interim coach Eric Tinkler.


“We picked up no injuries from our last game.”

— Chief coach Stuart Baxter.

What’s Being Said


“We’re going to the match as underdogs because Chiefs are on fire this season being unbeaten and coming off a fantastic result against Wits.

“It’s going to be extremely tough for us. Our ­performances haven’t been that great since the death of Senzo Meyiwa. That was a massive loss to the club. The morale of the team has been low and the confidence as well. With the coach leaving, it becomes important for me to rebuild that confidence. I have to do it in the derby and every player is motivated.” — Tinkler.

“I’ll lead by example. The players were disappointed with the departure of Vladimir Vermezovic but it’s football. We have to move on. As captain, I wish to see us pick up the pieces and come to the party.” — Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa.


“The derby can be won by a mistake from the referee or a big performance from a key player. I expect a few mistakes because of the anxiety of the players.” — Baxter.

“The approach is to go with respect and not to read too much into their situation. We need to be careful and not become complacent. It’s easy to say we beat Wits and they lost to Maritzburg United. They also lost the coach and we could chill. That’s not the case. They’re playing Chiefs, it’s a derby and they know the importance of the history of this match.” — Chiefs captain Tefu Mashamaite.

Probable Teams

Pirates: Mhlongo, Jele, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Matlaba, Sarr, Manyisa, Klate, Myeni, Erasmus, ­Majoro.

Chiefs: Khuzwayo, Gaxa, Mashamaite, Mathoho, Masilela, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala, ­Lebese, Parker, Nkatha.

Weekend PSL Fixtures and Log

Today’s PSL Fixtures

Pirates v Chiefs - SS4, SABC 1, 3.30 pm

AmaZulu v Black Aces - not televised, 6 pm

Sundowns v Free State Stars - SS4, 8.15 pm

Swallows v Platinum Stars - SABC 1, 8.15 pm

Polokwane City v Chippa United - not televised, 8.15 pm


Ajax Cape Town v SuperSport United - SABC 1, 3.30 pm

Bloem Celtic v Wits - SS4, 3.30 pm



Kaizer Chiefs 13 10 3 0 19 5 14 33

Ajax Cape Town 13 6 4 3 13 11 2 22

Chippa United 13 6 3 4 14 12 2 21

Maritzburg Utd 13 5 5 3 17 10 7 20

Sundowns 12 5 5 2 14 8 6 20

Bidvest Wits 13 6 2 5 14 13 1 20

Orlando Pirates 12 5 3 4 16 11 5 18

Black Aces 13 4 5 4 14 15 -1 17

Polokwane City 13 5 2 6 19 24 -5 17

Bloem Celtic 13 4 4 5 13 12 1 16

SuperSport United 12 5 0 7 17 18 -1 15

Free State Stars 13 4 2 7 13 19 -6 14

Moroka Swallows 13 4 2 7 17 24 -7 14

University of Pretoria 13 3 4 6 12 15 -3 13

Platinum Stars 11 3 2 6 12 17 -5 11

AmaZulu 12 1 4 7 9 19 -10 7

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