The battle lines have been drawn for the 180th Soweto derby

Written by on 7 March, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa

The Soweto derby returns on Saturday for the 180th installement of South Africa’s biggest football rivalry, as Orlando Pirates plays host to Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium in a DSTV Premiership clash. The Bucaneers will be searching for their 47th win against Chiefs and complete the double after winning the first league derby of the season. Amakhosi will be looking to add to the 74 wins they have over their neighbours and continue with their healthy win advantage in this fixture.

The Soweto giants go into this clash looking to protect their recent unbeaten runs, Pirates are undefeated in three league matches, with the previous league defeat coming at home to Stellenbosch FC in November last year. However, the Bucaneers will go into the derby at the back of a dissapointing 1-all draw in midweek against bottom side Cape Town Spurs, and coach Jose Riveiro believes Saturday’s clash against their firce rivals will give his side a good platform to bounce back.

“We played a few hours ago (against Spurs), not the result we were looking for and not the performance we were looking for last night, but the derby is giving us an opportunity to come back in a good way, in a good style,” said Riveiro at the official Soweto derby press conference.

“It is the best opportunity, the best scenario even though we have only two days of specific preparation for this game, I think at this point of the season we should be prepared for each and every game already we know each other more than okay.”

Since losing to Pirates in the derby last year, Amakhosi have gone on a run of seven matches without defeat in the DSTV Premiership notching up three wins in the process. Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson believes his side has improved a lot since that derby defeat last year.

“We have built overtime (since last defeat) you just heard. We have only received just one goal, and we have eight cleansheets, we haven’t lost in the last eight games or seven games, so it gives us a little bit of a light, whatever we were building is getting more solid.”

“One of my other colleagues said the best way to win the league is to have a good defence, so we have that we are building on it more so we have to come out and entertain and score goals.”

Soweto derby: Saturday 9 March 2024, FNB Stadium @15:30

Picture: Orlando Pirates (Facebook)

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