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Derby a tantalising treat

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There was huge belief that this would be the season they end that drought, having displayed dominance in the first half of the season

Head to head: Kaizer Chiefs and Pirates collide this weekend. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Tomorrow’s Soweto Derby has even more spice than usual with both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates fighting for the championship.

This hasn’t been the case for some time because when one of these Soweto giants was doing well, the other would be struggling, which is evident in the long barren runs the two teams have endured.

Chiefs haven’t won a trophy since 2015, while Pirates last lifted silver in 2014. The wait has been unbearable for their fans, especially Amakhosi who are used to trophies as the most successful team in South African football.

There was huge belief that this would be the season they end that drought, having displayed dominance in the first half of the season. But Amakhosi have stuttered, with the 19-point gap between them and Pirates eventually cut down to six.

This is largely due to Pirates’ resurgence under coach Josef Zinnbauer, who hasn’t lost a game in the league since taking over.

Since he replaced Rhulani Mokwena, Pirates have won seven of the eight games they have played.

Their only blemish was the draw with Bloemfontein Celtic.

It is a massive turnaround for a team that entered this season with hopes that they could challenge for the championship, only for a spanner to be thrown in the works due to the resignation of Micho Sredojevic.

But instead of this being a season of delivery, it was filled with misery as the club languished in the middle of the table. Enter Zinnbauer.

The German has made the club believe by injecting renewed energy and working on their mental strength, which includes the mantra of not looking too far ahead – just take it one game at a time.

The Chiefs team they will come up against has hit a speed bump, which has led to their lead at the summit being dramatically cut. Their aim is to turn the tide and finish strong with the league the only trophy now on offer for them.

These ingredients are what makes this match a mouth-watering prospect that will be watched by 90000 fans at FNB Stadium and millions across southern Africa. Enjoy the derby.