Kaizer Chiefs are coming to the much anticipated and sold out Absa Premiership Soweto derby this weekend against arch-rivals Orlando Pirates under a lot of pressure.

A loss to Pirates could see their lead at the top cut down to only 3 points and their exit in the Nedbank Cup this past weekend to Highlands Park has compounded the matters.

After being seen as favourites in December to run away with the league title as they were leading by more than 10 points, things have changed in the last seven league games where they picked up only 11 points from a possible 21.

With two losses from their last two matches in all competitions, head coach Ernst Middendorp is feeling the pressure.

It’s going to be a meeting of two German coaches when Middendorp comes up against his fellow countryman Josef Zinnbauer, who has transformed the Bucs.


Under him Pirates are unbeaten in the league, having won seven and drawn one of the league games played and they are firmly back in the title race.

Chiefs made history for all the wrong reasons last year when they became the first PSL team to lose a cup final to a lower division team (TS Galaxy), Middendorp was in charge and also finished outside the top 8 in the league.

He knows the pressure this past weekend’s result has now invited into his camp.

During Saturday’s game where they lost 5-4 on penalties in the last 16, Middendorp gave newly signed Kenyan international holding midfielder Anthony Akumu his first start and he was replaced at half-time by George Maluleka.

AUDIO: Ernst Middendorp

Report by Velile Mnyandu