Former Chiefs Coach – My Heart Says Chiefs, My Head Says Pirates

Former Kaizer Chiefs coach, Sergio Dos Santos has given his Soweto Derby permutations, and an assessment on where each team finds itself in terms of their form and respective projects.

Dos Santos, just like the current head coach Arthur Zwane, has played and coached Kaizer Chiefs. He knows all about the expectations that fall on the shoulders of both the players and the coaches of Pirates and Chiefs, having played on both sides of the camp.  

“The Pirates-Chiefs game is always difficult to call, because the teams are very close,” Sergio Dos Santos told This Is Football. Africa.

” It depends on who on the day has got that special spark that is required to command to take over and win the match. I don’t see that at the moment, but what I do see is a Pirates team that is starting to gel in a very big way. The team is coming, I can see the old Pirates coming in the last few games. Whereas Kaizer Chiefs are struggling, they are not settled. They still don’t have 100 percent permutations, I think they are focusing too much on attacking football at this stage.”

The midfielder was born to Portuguese immigrants, and spent around six months coaching Kaizer Chiefs in the mid nineties. The former Ajax Cape Town head of scouting, gives us his reasons why chiefs are currently having so many challenges.

“I do not think they have the quality in midfield and at the back to contain Orlando Pirates,” continued the former Hellenic captain. 

“The problem at Chiefs is that the midfield is too focused on attack, the two fullbacks also want to attack. All Pirates will have to do is just absorb in the deeper area of the field. Exactly the way they did against Sundowns, also shut Chiefs down high up, and then they got to drop to deep positions when Chiefs have got possession, and then counter-attack with pace, with balls into space behind the defenders and midfielders. They must by pass the midfield, and I think that Chiefs will be exposed because of this. Therefore I have to fancy Pirates a little bit, unfortunately, because I am an Amakhosi man. I have to be honest, and my brain is telling me Orlando Pirates will win the game, and I think they’re gonna win it fairly comfortably.”

“With this Derby anything is possible, I’m saying to you Pirates are the favourites because of the way Chiefs is playing, and the way Pirates is playing. I’ve played in derbies, and I’ve been present in derbies, and I can tell you that it’s not an easy game to call, because very seldom do the players fail to rise to the occasion.”

We took a look at the Kaizer Chiefs goals for and against, after 12 games in the last five seasons, stats provided by OptaJabu

2018/19 Solinas: 15 – 11

2019/20 Middendorp: 23 – 7

2020/21 Hunt: 13 – 14

2021/22 Baxter: 14 – 12

2022/23 Zwane: 15 – 15

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Sergio Dos Santos: My First Soweto Derby was Supernatural

Soweto Derby the biggest so far with the return of fans, it’s bound to be explosive. Image credit: Orlando Pirates