Kaizer Chiefs will face Orlando Pirates this Sunday in the milestone 100th Soweto league derby (173rd including cup games).
Chiefs (40) lead Pirates in the number of wins (23) but Pirates will be favorites given current form. A title race that was starting to look like a Mamelodi Sundowns procession could be rekindled if Pirates can win and narrow the gap between them and Sundowns to one point. Sundowns play later.
50 – This will be the 50th league derby between the sides in the PSL era, making it the joint-most played fixture in PSL history. Pirates have won 12, Chiefs 13 while the other 24 have ended in a draw.
A tale of two coaches
The milestone match follows two individual milestones from the week, one more celebrated than the other. Josef Zinnbauer, pictured above, was widely lauded in reaching his 50th game, considering that Pirates’ 2-1 win against Enyimba was Josef Zinnbauer’s 30th win at the club in his 50th game. His 60% win rate is the highest for a Pirates coach in their first 50 games for the club in the PSL era.
Meanwhile, Gavin Hunt of Chiefs also managed his 30th game midweek, but that came with a record few would want:
27% – Hunt has won eight of his 30 matches at Chiefs, the 27% win rate being the lowest for any Chiefs coach in their first 30 games in the PSL era.
All that will be forgotten, however, should Hunt manage to overcome Zinnbauer on Sunday afternoon. But it is an uphill task.
Pirates are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions (W8 D2), and have lost just once in the last 15. The contrast in form is stark – Chiefs have managed just one win in the last 11 games. They will be more desperate for the win, and that desperation could be enough to give them that edge. Plus, there are more unwanted records to avoid for Hunt.
0 – No PSL era coach has suffered four successive derby defeats at either club.
Hunt will be looking to his strikers to bail him out, and Samir Nurkovic and co. will need to be at their best to breach a miserly Pirates defence. The Buccaneers have conceded just one goal directly from open play in the last 10 games (all competitions), with a penalty and an own-goal their only other concessions. Now, they have a chance to extend that record in the one fixture their German coach enjoys:
3 – Against no other PSL coach has Zinnbauer won more matches than he has against Hunt (3).
Indeed, Zinnbauer could become the first Pirates coach since Ruud Krol in 2009 to complete a league double over Chiefs. Namibian star Deon Hotto will be a key player in that quest.
He has been one of the standout players throughout the campaign, and has been involved in 16 goals for Pirates in all competitions this season (seven goals and nine assists), more than any other Pirates player.
4 – Hotto is the only PSL player to score AND assist at least once in four different competitions this season.
But if anyone knows Hotto’s weaknesses, it will be the man who managed him for two full seasons at Wits – Gavin Hunt.
Mamelodi Sundowns v Black Leopards
Sundowns became the first team to win four successive league games this season when they beat Stellenbosch. They are on a 10-game winning run in all competitions, their best winning run in the PSL era. The run has propelled them to 25 games unbeaten, another club record, which could be extended this Sunday.
10 – Sundowns have won ten successive league games against Black Leopards, their joint-best run against a single opponent in the PSL era (10 also v Free State Stars 2013-2017)
AmaZulu vs TTM
AmaZulu can become just the second club to win four successive league games this season (after Sundowns). They host a TTM side who have also lost just once in the last seven games, so it will not be an easy game.
25 – AmaZulu have now won 25 points since Benni McCarthy’s first game in their dugout, more than any other #DStvPrem side.
By Opta Jabu