Kaizer Chiefs captain Keagan Dolly has branded his side as underdogs in the sold out Soweto Derby that kicks off on Saturday at the 90k seater FNB Stadium, most famous for hosting the final of the 2010 World Cup.
Amakhosi face fierce rivals Orlando Pirates in the perennial biggest match in the South African football calendar, that has already fans talking all week. The battle of Soweto, as some fans like to call it, is not just about the three points at stake.
The bragging rights are just as precious as the points whenever these two giants of South African football face off in the Soweto Derby that was first contested on 24 January 1970.
The Ghosts have been in fine form this season, and have their followers believing that they have the right team to avenge the pain of the past league exchanges between the two sworn enemies played since the 2019-20 season.
The Glamour Boys have clobbered Pirates in five of those matches, much to the chagrin of the Black and White half of Soweto. It is this domination that Orlando Pirates want avenged, and has the Chiefs skipper grudgingly accepting that the recent results give the Bucs an upper hand.
“Orlando Pirates are obviously on a high. They just qualified for the MTN8. I will accept that we go into the match as underdogs but we all know that form counts for nothing in such games,” said Dolly.
The Buccaneers thumped Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 to reach the MTN8 final last weekend, while AmaZulu knocked out Kaizer Chiefs in a goalless draw.
However, Chiefs coach head coach Arthur Zwane, who played for both Soweto giants and is chasing history, firmly believes that form counts for nothing in these big games.
“I remember winning my first Soweto Derby as a player for Kaizer Chiefs and I also won my first derby in Orlando Pirates colours. I would like to win my first Soweto derby as a coach on Saturday,” he said.
Zwane acknowledged that there is a lot at stake in the match dubbed the Battle of Soweto.
“There is the three points, bragging rights for the fans, and of course we also want to win it for our families,” said the 49-year-old coach.
The two giants of South Africa are also neck to neck on the log this season. Pirates are fourth with 19 points from their 12 matches, while Chiefs are a point and a place behind from the same number of games as their rivals.