Pirates going into Soweto Derby against Chiefs as firm favourites

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Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer says he will do everything in his power to ensure that his players do not become complacent against bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.

Bucs will go into the Soweto derby as firm favourites having already beaten Amakhosi three times this season.

Pirates are currently third on the DSTV Premiership log with 35 points, and Chiefs are 11th, struggling to make the top 8 bracket.

This will be the 100th league derby between the two soccer giants.

This is one of the worst starts to a season for glamour club Chiefs. The two sides are separated by a massive 14 points on the log.

Chiefs, who come from an eight-match winless streak, eventually beat Petro Atletico of Angola 2-0 in the CAF Champions League earlier in March.

In their last six matches, Chiefs drew four, won one and lost one.

Hunt says this is a crucial match for both teams. “Obviously this is a game that everyone wants to win. Between the two teams, I don’t see any difference, but in football what is gone is gone. You got to try and concentrate on the next game and if you won the last game, it’s always dangerous in the next game vice versa. Yes, we need points because of our situation where we are we certainly have to get ourselves up and we can finish well there we’ve got twelve games left we can finish well.”

Struggling to find back of the net

Chiefs are struggling to find the back of the net, having scored only four times in their last six matches.

Amakhosi striker Samir Norkovic says preparation is key.

“Our focus must always be on the next coming match, that’s now on Sunday against Pirates. We have to do everything in our power to get that win against them and it’s going to be a big motivation for us in the future. We are going to try to do our best and prepare ourselves in the best possible way to win that match against pirates.”

Pirates morale boosted

On the other hand, Pirates’ morale will be boosted by their 2-1 win over Nigerian giants Enyimba on Wednesday evening in the CAF Confederation Cup. The win took Pirates to the top of Group A with four points after two matches.

Having already won the MTN-8 tournament earlier in the season, the club is determined to give their utmost in the remaining ten matches of the DSTV Premiership, the Nedbank Cup, and in the Confederation Cup.

Zinnbauer says despite the heavy schedule, they are focused.

“If you have the three tournaments, then you fight for three tournaments. It’s clear we know the league is not too easy to come closer to Sundowns. We notice but in football, it’s all possible. You have the Nedbank and you know you have to win the next game you are in or you lose the next game you are out. We want this and we are happy about this challenge in all three and in the CAF game it’s the same.”

‘Not underestimating opponent’

Despite three wins in a row against their rivals this season, Pirates defender Happy Jele says they will not underestimate their opponents.

“We come from a win obviously each player is motivated and to play a derby it’s motivation. For us is just to prepare ourselves, put more effort into the game and try to get the results because, for us, we want to get as many points as we can. It’s very important for the team and we want to finish in a good position at the end of the season.”

An array of stars will not be available for Sunday’s match. Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro, Itumeleng Khune and Lebogang Manyama are all unavailable for Amakhosi. Pirates will be without Thembinkosi Lorch, and Zakhele Lepasa while keeper Richard Ofori is doubtful for the match.