Baxter on the Soweto Derby
I think the Derby comes at a time when we are on a good run, says Kaizer Chiefs Coach Stuart Baxter. Coach Baxter was speaking after taking his charges through their final preparations ahead of the Soweto derby against archrivals Orlando Pirates. This Absa Premiership clash takes place at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 06 December 2014, kick-off at 15h30.
“Going into the Derby on a good run can motivate or lead to complacency in the team,” continues Baxter, who has claimed a scalp of the Buccaneers once in the league since his arrival. The other three league Derbies since Baxter’s arrival as Chiefs Coach have ended in a draw.
Pirates suffered their second home defeat of the season when they were beaten 2-1 by Maritzburg United in midweek. They also have changes in their Technical Team, following the departure of their coach Vladimir Vermezovic.
“Changes in the team can work both ways, it can cause instability or even motivate the players to gain more courage. We will not focus on their challenges, but we will work hard on our preparations. We will work hard and do our best to win.”
The Buccaneers are placed seventh on the Absa Premiership log with 18 points from 12 matches. Chiefs maintained their unbeaten run and racked up a 10th league win when they defeated Bidvest Wits 3-0 away in midweek. The Soweto giants have claimed 19 points from a possible 21 on the road this season.
The Amakhosi are placed first on the Absa Premiership log with 33 points from 13 matches.
In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Chiefs have met in 57 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have 23 wins compared to 12 for the Buccaneers, while 22 matches have been drawn. Pirates have won just seven of their 30 home matches against Chiefs down the years, suffering 10 defeats in the process. Last season the Amakhosi took four points off their Soweto rivals, drawing 1-1 at home and winning 1-0 away.
“The Derby is a big event. The world will be watching us today. At times the magnitude of the game causes the players to be tense. I just hope the crowd will continue to behave well at the match to make this a spectacle to watch.”
Kgotso Moleko is ruled out of the match due to injury. Siphelele Mthembu makes his way back into the squad and available for selection after missing the Wits game midweek. Lorenzo Gordhino and Ovidy Karuru have also formed part of the squad after missing the trip to Bidvest Stadium midweek.
The match has been sold out and the supporters are advised to use park and ride facilities and public transport to the stadium.