The 2020/2021 PSL campaign is set for an exciting cliffhanger in the MTN8 semi-finals as Orlando Pirates host Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, in the first of two Soweto derby clashes.
Neither side - considered contenders for the league title this season - have started quite as well as they would have wanted to.
Both will be hoping a strong Soweto derby performance will help kick-start their campaign, in addition to securing a place in the MTN8 final.
Buccaneers boss Josef Zinnbauer is already under pressure after a few unconvincing displays in the Premiership. After beating Cape Town City 1-0 to earn an MTN8 semi-final spot, Pirates were held to 1-1 draws in the league by both AmaZulu and Stellenbosch.
Zinnbauer will also need to deal with the fact that Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt knows many of the new Pirates signings, with Thulani Hlatshwayo, Deon Hotto, Thabang Monare, and Terrence Dzvukamanja having played under him.
Many have cheekily now dubbed Pirates as 'Bidvest Wits-lite' in reference to their new signings.
For Kaizer Chiefs, Gavin Hunt is still looking to settle in at Naturena and implement his philosophy and winning mentality onto his new group of players to perform at their best.
After the 2-1 win over Maritzburg United in the MTN8 quarter-finals, Chiefs were humbled 3-0 by Mamelodi Sundowns in the league before managing to grind out a 1-0 win over Chippa United on Tuesday.
Player to watch
- Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates)
Last season’s top scorer has looked sharp in the early stages of the new season and he will look to continue his form from the previous campaign. The Malawian managed to get on the score-sheet in a 1-1 draw against AmaZulu and will be looking to be the difference against Chiefs over the two legs.
- Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (Kaizer Chiefs)
In the young 20-year-old attacker Kaizer Chiefs seem to have unearthed another young gem with a bright future ahead of him. Ngcobo caught the eye in Chiefs’ 1-0 win over Chippa United in their last fixture and will be looking to continue his impressive early form. The youth graduate looks to be very skilful and for a young player, looked to be miles better than everyone on the pitch against Chippa. Ngcobo can announce himself to the entire country with good performances in back-to-back Soweto derbies.
What the coaches said:
09/11/2019 - Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 Orlando Pirates
09/02/2019 - Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Orlando Pirates
27/10/2018 - Orlando Pirates 2-1 Kaizer Chiefs
03/03/2018 - Orlando Pirates 3-1 Kaizer Chiefs