Komphela: Pirates clash defining in title chase

Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)
Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela believes Saturday's clash with Orlando Pirates in the Soweto derby could prove to be crucial in the outcome of the Absa Premiership title race. 

The Glamour Boys were less than convincing in drawing 0-0 with Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend, and are now third in the table with a five-point deficit behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Meanwhile, the Sea Robbers are in second with just a four-point gap between themselves and the Brazilians in first. As such, Komphela takes the view that the encounter against Bucs could be defining in terms of the pursuit of the Absa Premiership trophy.

What the teams are saying…

Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela: "This is one match which will be defining for us. On the tactical aspect, we both play 3-4-3. We both play it so well. I foresee sparks. 

"There will be a lot of activities. It becomes hectic but it comes with the magnitude of the game. We must remain focused on the match itself. 

"When teams get the fixture list at the start of the season, they immediately go and mark the day when they will be playing Chiefs or Pirates. 

"Every team looks at our matches the same way we are looking at the Pirates match. It is always a big occasion. 

"The same preparation you go through for Pirates should be the same for every game because all the other 15 teams prepare that way for us."

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena: "It's important that you have players from Soweto playing in the derby because they have lived, breathed and been directly affected by derby results. But they also need to be managed because they are also under pressure from their neighbourhoods."

"The players from outside Soweto have a massive responsibility as well because they also want to contribute to a massive event that they can take home and share with their neighbourhoods. Everyone wants a piece of everyone. The pressure of this game is just enormous."

"The players are aware that 'to whom much is given, much is expected' so they need to remain cognisant of that when they put on this jersey."

Saturday's game is set to take place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The action gets underway from 15:30.

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