The Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates is upon us once again. It is the biggest fixture on the South African football calendar and a perfect stage for players from both sides to win the hearts of their passionate supporters by positively influencing the results of the match.
In this article, ThisisFootball.Africa takes a look at key players who might have a big hand in tomorrow’s much anticipated encounter.
The Orlando Pirates wing forward has been a revelation for Amabhakaniya this season.
Once again they will be looking at him to influence the derby results in their favor against their arch rivals, as he has done in many a game this season.
Saleng has scored nine goals, and provided five assists in sixteen matches for Bucs in the current campaign.
His deceptive individual brilliance from the right wing will be the spark Orlando Pirates needs to set the Soweto Derby alight on Saturday.
The Kaizer Chiefs left back will have his work cut out, with Saleng consistently running at him with the ball glued on his educated left foot.
On top of dealing with the obvious threat of Saleng, Hlanti will have to play an important leadership role for his team on Saturday, something that Amakhosi will need in abundance.
He will also be key in both defensive and offensive set-pieces for Kaizer Chiefs.
Also Read: Chiefs To Redeem Themselves Against Bucs?
The experienced attacker might not be consistent with his performances for the glamour boys, but he is a player to watch for a big occasion like the Soweto Derby.
Dolly has scored four goals, with four assists in his name this season, in twenty-three matches.
His inch perfect set-piece deliveries and blistering pace on the counter will be key for Amakhosi.
Maela gives Orlando Pirates an extra edge in attack with his runs from the back.
Jose Riveiro can always count on him to create overloads on the left flank that give Amabhakaniya much needed fluidity in their offensive forays.
Defensively, his pace will be important for Pirates to deal with the threat of Amakhosi’s quick offensive transitions.
Chaine has been one of the missing links in the Orlando Pirates offensive juggernaut.
It is rare for a goalkeeper to be so important for a South African team on the in-possession phase.
Chaine is comfortable, although still not perfect, with slotting in between the two center backs during the build-up phase, meaning Amabhakaniya can build up comfortably from the back.
His distribution is also excellent, and serves as an extra weapon if Pirates wants to quickly turn defence into attack.
Also Read: Three Good Reasons Why Chiefs Will Beat Pirates!
Edmilson Dove (if available)
Dove is the only defender that has raised his hand at centre back for Kaizer Chiefs this season.
Although he has had his fair share of costly mistakes, he has come up with some impressive performances as well.
Amakhosi will need nothing more than a solid performance from their center backs on Saturday and Dove is the glue that can keep the Kaizer Chiefs defence intact against the potency of the Bucs attack.
Other possible match winners:
Phillip Ndlondlo relishes the big occasion, and might prove influential for Amabhakaniya in midfield.
Mduduzi Shabalala might stun Mzansi with a match winning performance. Don’t let his age fool you; the youngster is a super talent.
Christian Saile Basomboli might use the big occasion to write his name in the Soweto derby history books with a big performance.