Polokwane - Well, this is it! It is the big one for Limpopo, the maiden Limpopo derby in the Absa Premiership between arch rivals Baroka FC and Polokwane City.
Prepare for war, on and off the field because the two clubs loathe one another.
If the Soweto derby can bring the country to a standstill, Limpopo, and Polokwane in particular, is the place to be on Sunday afternoon as the two local rivals fight for territorial dominance.
Never has a derby been more important than this Limpopo derby. For the two clubs’ bosses, at least.
To say their bosses, Khurishi Mphahlele and Johnny Mogaladi, despise each other would be an understatement. They hate each other with a passion.
This could well be one of the most hotly anticipated and most exciting games between neighbours the country has seen for years.
So expect fireworks at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium as the two sides will be out to outdo one another and win the turf war. Somehow, City coach Luc Eymael seems to have turned his team into a formidable side, if their recent games are anything to go by.
Since they went down to Cape Town City in their opening game, City have gone five games unbeaten in the league.
But Eymael will have to work on his strike force to convert the numerous chances the team creates. They let Orlando Pirates off the hook in their previous game and ended up dropping two points at home in a game they should have easily won.
Although he should be pleased with the team’s performance, the Belgian coach should also be worried by their sloppiness in front of goals.
Baroka, on the other hand, are on a high. Not only because they qualified for the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals, but they have also turned their season around.
Their 2-1 away victory over Cape Town City, followed by a convincing win over Platinum Stars in the Telkom Knockout, should inspire them for this derby.
While City look like the real deal under Eymael, Baroka are dangerous – they always are – and have that sense of momentum and grit which could win them the game.
In another game, newly crowned CAF Champions League champions Mamelodi Sundowns will now shift their focus to defending the league title when they host Cape Town City in their second league game of the season.
The Brazilians have been so preoccupied with their CAF campaign that they are five games behind in the domestic league and will begin “operation catch up” on Sunday afternoon.
Sundowns played to a goalless draw against Maritzburg United in the only game they have played so far, and would want to start collecting points to move away from the bottom half of the log.
They will be back in action against Polokwane City at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.
City, who have been blowing hot and cold, are also looking to consolidate their position in the top half of the table.