Fans tune up teams ahead of lively Soweto derby

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Kaizer Chiefs and Or­lando Pi­rates sup­port­ers are still di­vided as to which for­ma­tion they would pre­fer in the Car­ling Black La­bel Cup on Satur­day.

The more than 5 mil­lion vot­ers were in favour of the tra­di­tional 4-4-2 for­ma­tion ear­lier, but the in­tro­duc­tion of the “Benni Spe­cial” 4-2-3-1 line-up has thrown a span­ner in the works.

The more ad­ven­tur­ous for­ma­tion has gained mo­men­tum and threat­ens to over­take the con­ven­tional one be­fore votes close on Tues­day night.

What­ever the out­come, sup­port­ers will have thrown their weight around and shown their power to their coaches. While Chiefs fol­low­ers have al­ready wit­nessed what their new recruits could do dur­ing the Bokone Bophir­ima Maize Cup, Pi­rates sup­port­ers can­not wait to see how their new play­ers fit into their sys­tem on Satur­day.

Af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mixed for­tunes at Mamelodi Sun­downs, goal­keeper Wayne Sandi­lands could make his maiden Soweto derby.

Pi­rates sup­port­ers were crit­i­cal of their four keep­ers – Felipe Ovono, Jack­son Mabokg­wane, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Brighton Mh­longo – last sea­son.

The lat­ter has since left for Chippa United.

Now Sandi­lands is sure to get the nod to see if he is the so­lu­tion to their leaky de­fence.

Jus­tice Cha­bal­ala, who has made a re­turn from Chippa United, is ex­pected to slot into the heart of de­fence.

Tham­sanqa Sang­weni will surely part­ner with cap­tain Oupa Many­isa in the mid­dle of the park.

The Ghost are also ea­ger to see their new striker Chris­tian Obio­zor from Eny­imba of Nige­ria.

Sup­port­ers have gone for Tendai Ndoro, who, af­ter a promis­ing start last sea­son, faded to­wards the end of the sea­son and fell out of favour with the tech­ni­cal team. Ndoro was lead­ing the Pi­rates votes with more than 200 000.

Sup­port­ers have shown more con­fi­dence in ball play­ers than hard work­ers in the past.

The likes of Thabo Rakhale, Mpho Makola and Thabo Qalinge have been sup­port­ers’ favourites.

It re­mains to be seen if sup­port­ers still have con­fi­dence in Makola and Rakhale, who had a bad sea­son.

Af­ter get­ting a rare taste of vic­tory in the Maize Cup last week­end, Amakhosi sup­port­ers are al­ready sali­vat­ing at the prospect of lift­ing an­other off-sea­son tro­phy. These tro­phies might be mean­ing­less to many, but to the hard­core sup­port­ers, they still say a lot, par­tic­u­larly if it’s against their archri­vals.

Chiefs sup­port­ers are hop­ing the off-sea­son suc­cess will con­tinue and her­ald big­ger and bet­ter things in the new sea­son.

They also want to even the score with Pi­rates, who have won this event thrice al­ready.

Amakhosi will pin their hopes on Gus­tavo Páez, who seems to have found his scor­ing feet when his brace sank Botswana’s Township Rollers last week­end.

Chiefs sup­port­ers are not ex­pected to tinker with their lineup, even though they might want to see new play­ers get some game time.

They are ex­pected to vote crowd favourite Ge­orge Lebese into the start­ing line-up.

De­spite not fea­tur­ing much, the left winger is still highly re­garded by Chiefs sup­port­ers.

The big ques­tion is: which for­ma­tion do sup­port­ers want to see their teams play­ing?

Whether it is 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3, 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-2-1, it won’t mat­ter much as long as it can win them the game.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

PHOTO: SYD­NEY SESHIBEDI / GALLO IM­AGES

RAR­ING TO GO Tham­sanqa Sang­weni will sta­bilise Bucs mid­field

PHOTO: SYD­NEY MAHLANGU / BACKPAGEPIX

NEW RE­CRUIT Bon­go­lethu Jayiya set for first derby

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

LETHAL Gus­tavo Páez will carry Chiefs hopes

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

DEBU­TANT Wayne Sandi­lands

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