Chiefs come into this encounter as the hot favourites based on their current form. Ernst Middendorp’s charges have recorded five straight league wins, netting nine goals in the process but what has been central to their early season success has been their miserly defence which has seen them keep a clean sheet in all five league encounters.
Khama Billiat: The Zimbabwean international loves the big occasions and there is no bigger occasion than the Soweto Derby. Billiat is a player that keeps any defence on its toes due to his probing nature in the field of play. The 29-year old is very clever at exploiting gaps and space left by defences like he did in the Telkom Knockout which led to Chiefs’ equaliser in the second half. He is also a player that is key in the way Chiefs play their quick transition game. The recent form of Dumisani Zuma will also have likely motivated Billiat to want to prove to the coach that he is the rightful man for that position.
Leonardo Castro and With Samir Nurkovic have played 90 minutes in their 2-0 win over Chippa United during midweek it looks more likely that the man Middendorp will rely on for height up front will be Leonardo Castro. The Columbian marksman has a knack for finding the net against the Buccaneers, as displayed once more in the most recent derby.
Judging by the performance of Zuma during the week OPFC.com predicts a possible change in the attacking trio; with Middendorp opting for more mobility upfront with Castro flanked by Billiat and Zuma.
In the victories that Pirates registered they found the back of the net eight times while conceding only three goals.
2018/19 Chiefs 1-1 Pirates Castro pen; Lorch
2018/19 Pirates 2-1 Chiefs Maela, Pule; Billiat
2017/18 Pirates 3-1 Chiefs, Lorch, Memela x2; Castro
2017/18 Chiefs 0-0 Pirates
2016/17 Chiefs 1-1 Pirates Molangoane; Masilela (OG)
2016/17 Pirates 0-0 Chiefs
2015/16 Pirates 1-1 Chiefs Gabuza; Katsande
2015/16 Chiefs 1-3 Pirates Mathoho; Sarr, Gcaba, Gabuza
2014/15 Chiefs 0-0 Pirates
2014/15 Pirates 0-2 Chiefs Tshabalala, Mthembu