Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Thomas Sweswe says Amakhosi will be the hungrier side going into Saturday’s Soweto derby as they cannot afford to lose three consecutive matches.
PSL leaders Chiefs will arrive at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon wounded after losing 2-1 to Maritzburg United in their last League match two weeks ago, to have their lead trimmed to four points clear at the top.
Ernst Middendorp and his men are also fresh from Nedbank Cup elimination after being knocked out by Highlands Park last weekend.
It was the first time this season for Chiefs to lose two straight games and Sweswe feels that they are the more driven side going into the derby as a third successive defeat could prove catastrophic.
“It is going to work in favour of Chiefs and these are the games where men are counted,” Sweswe told FarPost.
“The players will be playing for their beloved supporters also knowing that they cannot disappoint [after what happened in the past weeks] and cannot manage to lose again. They want bragging rights for their supporters.”
Chiefs already enjoy derby bragging rights this season after they edged Pirates 3-2 in the reverse League game as well as kicking their bitter rivals out of the Telkom Knockout.
But it might be a different ball game now as they face a Pirates side that has transformed itself into a mean machine with six straight League wins going into this derby showdown.
Sweswe however feels that form does not matter much in derbies.
“I see Chiefs prevailing in this game and form doesn’t count when it come to derby matches,” Sweswe said.
“I also think the Nedbank Cup exit is a blessing in disguise for Amakhosi and they will be motivated knowing that they are playing to win the League title since it is the only available Cup they are playing for. They will be hungrier.
“It is going to be a very tense match and no one will want to make mistakes.”
Also making Saturday’s confrontation potentially stormy is that Pirates are left with only the League title to play for after they were booted out of the Nedbank Cup just like Chiefs.
By Michael Madyira