That way the league will have a more exciting conclusion, according to the Downs coach
AN ORLANDO Pirates rival in the Absa Premiership race will be backing the Buccaneers on Saturday in the much-anticipated Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
This match will have a significant impact in the league race with both clubs and Mamelodi Sundowns fighting for the championship. Third-placed Pirates are six points behind Chiefs who are in first place.
But the Buccaneers have played one game extra.
In-between those two teams is Sundowns who are four points behind Amakhosi.
It’s no wonder then that coach Pitso Mosimane will eagerly watch the Soweto Derby even though he has a bigger challenge in Al-Ahly in the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League on the same day.
“You don’t want Pirates to come close to you, but you also don’t want Chiefs to move away,” Mosimane said in response to who he will be supporting on Saturday.
“So, I think we should look at what makes the league interesting and exciting. Pirates have played more games than us, so there is probably a cushion there. Even if they win, it’s OK because we have a game or two in hand.
“You know what I am trying to say?
“But do you want the other people to run away with it? We have taken the gap to four points before, what happened?
“We went to sleep. It’s for us now to say that we are at four again, then if we don’t drop the ball, we have good chances. But if Chiefs wins all their games, they win the league. So, it’s not in our hands.”
This derby will see two German coaches come up against each other. Ernst Middendorp will be looking to shake off Chiefs’ slump and register their third successive win over Amakhosi in one season. Pirates’ Josef Zinnbauer will look to stop that and continue the Buccaneers’ resurgence under him that has seen them go unbeaten in the league.
Chiefs come into this match on the back of being eliminated in the Nedbank Cup which means that the league is their only chance at ending a four-season barren run. Pirates are in the same boat.
They were knocked out early in all domestic knockout competitions, leaving the Premiership as the only thing for them to play for.
“If you want the league to be exciting, you don’t wish them (Chiefs) to win on Saturday,” Mosimane said.
“Am I right? No! Because when we played against (Bloemfontein) Celtic, did you see Chiefs supporters at Loftus? They come in numbers. When we played Chippa (United), they come in numbers.
“So probably Masandawana must go to join the Buccaneers there.”