Friday Oct 28, 2022. 11:00
South Africa’s premier football fixture, the Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, will take centre stage this weekend as the DStv Premiership holds its final round of matches prior to a two-month break encompassing the 2022 World Cup.
The derby takes place at FNB Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday 29 October and sees Pirates – fresh from back-to-back wins and earning a spot in the MTN8 final – take on a Chiefs side which missed out on said final and has failed to win any of their last three matches.
Nonetheless, Amakhosi coach Arthur Zwane is embracing the expectation that comes with facing his club’s arch rivals.
“Pressure is part of the game. For me, being under pressure is a privilege because you won’t be under pressure when you are not in a good place… a place that improves you as a person,” said Zwane.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, will hope for more goal-scoring heroics from rising star Monnapule Saleng, who netted a brace in each of their 2-0 win away to Golden Arrows in the league last midweek, as well as in the 3-0 thumping of Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 semifinals.
Yet Pirates coach Jose Riveiro hopes that Saleng – and his team in general – embrace humility in the face of the challenge ahead of them: “There are also players who are more attractive to the fans, of course, especially a player like Saleng. I mean you can see the way he’s coming week after week. Now what’s key for him, and for us also, is to stay humble,” said the Spaniard.
The weekend’s action opens on Friday with a KwaZulu-Natal derby between Maritzburg United and Golden Arrows at Harry Gwala Stadium, while Saturday – aside from the Soweto derby – also features Marumo Gallants at home to Cape Town City and Royal AM looking to claim the scalp of champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Chatsworth Stadium.
Sunday’s headlined clash sees SuperSport United play host to Swallows FC, with the former putting a fine run (six wins from their last seven league outings) to emerge as title contenders – though coach Gavin Hunt has played down their chances.
“I still don’t think we are close enough,” explained the veteran tactician. “We are just trying to get as many points as we can, but I don’t think we are close. I still think Pirates is the only team that can challenge Sundowns.”
Sunday also sees Sekhukhune United visit TS Galaxy, Chippa United will hope to become the first team to score against Richards Bay since early September (the top-flight rookies have gone almost 600 minutes since they last conceded, heading into the weekend), and AmaZulu will chase a home victory against Stellenbosch at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
DStv Premiership weekend fixtures
Friday 28 October
19:30: Maritzburg United v Golden Arrows
Saturday 29 October
15:30: Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs
17:30: Marumo Gallants v Cape Town City
18:00: Royal AM v Mamelodi Sundowns
Sunday 30 October
15:30: SuperSport United v Swallows FC
15:30: TS Galaxy v Sekhukhune United
15:30: Chippa United v Richards Bay
15:30: AmaZulu v Stellenbosch FC