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Football | Absa Premiership

Roger de Sa and Stuart Baxter © Backpagepix

RDS, Baxter promise derby spectacle

In the most anticipated clash of the 2012/13 Absa Premiership season thus far, the country will come to a stand-still as Orlando Pirates host Kaizer Chiefs in the biggest Soweto Derby of them all at the grand venue that is the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, kick-off at 3:30pm CAT 9SA, GMT+2). Live on SS4, SSHD4 and, build-up starts at 2pm.

All other sport will take a back seat on Saturday afternoon as thousands of fans pack into the sold-out FNB stadium and millions of South Africans across the country watch the game on television.

There has never been more at stake in this Soweto derby as the winners of Q1 take on the current leaders of Q2, and both coaches are promising a footballing spectacle ahead of the weekend’s match.

“Previous form counts for nothing come derby day,” explains the Buccaneers coach Roger de Sa. “The game is not just about the three points, it is much more, and come game day we will be in full force.”

Looking at the format the match is likely to take De Sa adds, “It is likely to be an open game and I believe we will play good attacking football.”

Attacking football is something that has become synonymous with both sides this season and it was none more evident in Chiefs 3-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in midweek. It is this style of play coach Stuart Baxter will be trying to implement against Pirates.

“We scored goals and created some chances and some of the attacking play was excellent,” said Baxter of his side’s performance against the Urban Warriors.

“And against Pirates we are going to play similar, we are going to play properly and we will be up for it. But whatever happens before the derby is not important, as it will not reflect the result because it is another day which is totally different altogether.”

The rivalry between the two teams spans over 40-years to when Chairman Kaizer Motaung first created the Glamour boys after breaking away from the Sea Robbers in 1970.

Since then the two teams have locked horns 72 times in the league dating back to 1985, 30 of which have been won by Chiefs while Pirates have only mustered 18 wins.

Still, looking at last season’s corresponding fixture, the Buccaneers had the upper-hand in a five goal thriller, beating the Amakhosi 3-2 largely thanks to a brace from Benni McCarthy.

This season, however, Chiefs have been the team in form and irrespective of what happens on Saturday they will remain at the summit of the Absa Premiership. Chiefs are on 30 league points from their 13 league matches, closely followed by Pirates on 27 points.

Pirates will be coming into this match ruing the fact that they dropped two points in midweek following their 0-0 stalemate against PSL rookies Chippa United.

De Sa admits his side may have had one eye on the Derby already, but it was a point gained against Chippa and not a point lost.

“The Derby was at the back of our minds,” confessed De Sa. “But credit to Chippa, they worked hard and took the game to us. Looking at the game, I think we won a point. It was important that we didn't lose going into the Derby.”

In conclusion, Baxter warns that Pirates will have to be careful on match day because Chiefs have the ability to control any game.

“If we can improve our movement and defend more solidly, then we can take hold of any game. The goals can come from anywhere. We can score from the back or the wings,’ said the Englishman.


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