Absa Premiership

Fans tune up teams ahead of lively Soweto derby

2017-07-23 06:04
Soweto Derby

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates supporters are still divided as to which formation they would prefer in the Carling Black Label Cup on Saturday.

The more than 5 million voters were in favour of the traditional ­4-4-2 formation earlier, but the introduction of the “Benni Special” 4-2-3-1 line-up has thrown a spanner in the works.

The more adventurous formation has gained momentum and threatens to overtake the conventional one before votes
close on Tuesday night.

Whatever the outcome, supporters will have thrown their weight around and shown their power to their coaches.

While Chiefs followers have already witnessed what their new recruits could do during the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup, Pirates supporters cannot wait to see how their new players fit into their system on Saturday.

After experiencing mixed fortunes at Mamelodi Sundowns, goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands could make his maiden Soweto derby.

Pirates supporters were critical of their four keepers – Felipe Ovono, Jackson Mabokgwane, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Brighton Mhlongo – last season.

The latter has since left for Chippa United.

Now Sandilands is sure to get the nod to see if he is the solution to their leaky defence.

Justice Chabalala, who has made a return from Chippa United, is expected to slot into the heart of defence.

Thamsanqa Sangweni will surely partner with captain Oupa Manyisa in the middle of the park.

The Ghost are also eager to see their new striker Christian Obiozor from Enyimba of Nigeria.

Supporters have gone for Tendai Ndoro, who, after a promising start last season, faded towards the end of the season and fell out of favour with the technical team. Ndoro was leading the Pirates votes with more than 200 000.

Supporters have shown more confidence in ball players than hard workers in the past.

The likes of Thabo Rakhale, Mpho Makola and Thabo Qalinge have been supporters’ favourites.

It remains to be seen if supporters still have confidence in Makola and Rakhale, who had a bad season.

After getting a rare taste of victory in the Maize Cup last weekend, Amakhosi supporters are already salivating at the prospect of lifting another off-season trophy.

These trophies might be meaningless to many, but to the hardcore supporters, they still say a lot, particularly if it’s against their archrivals.

Chiefs supporters are hoping the off-season success will continue and herald bigger and better things in the new season.

They also want to even the score with Pirates, who have won this event thrice already.

Amakhosi will pin their hopes on Gustavo Páez, who seems to have found his scoring feet when his brace sank Botswana’s Township Rollers last weekend.

Chiefs supporters are not expected to tinker with their line-up, even though they might want
to see new players get some game time.

They are expected to vote crowd favourite George Lebese into the starting line-up.

Despite not featuring much, the left winger is still highly regarded by Chiefs supporters.

The big question is: which formation do supporters want to see their teams playing?

Whether it is 4-4-2, 4-3-3, ­3-4-3, ­3-5-2, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-2-1, it won’t matter much as long as it can win them the game.

Kick-off is at 3pm.


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