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Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates: Who is likely to lift a trophy first?

10:03 BST 10/09/2019
Augustine Mulenga, Orlando Pirates & Lorenzo Gordinho, Kaizer Chiefs, July 2019
Both Amakhosi and the Buccaneers have the same number of trophies to fight for this season but who stands the better chance?

When the current campaign got underway, there were five trophies on offer for Orlando Pirates, including the Caf Champions League while Kaizer Chiefs started the season knowing that they can only fight for three domestic trophies. 

This was because they didn't make it into the top eight teams while also failing to qualify for Caf Confederation Cup, following that shock defeat to TS Galaxy in Durban. 

But who is likely to win a trophy first this season? 

Kaizer Chiefs 

Ernst Middendorp's charges started the season with a bang following three wins and a draw from their opening four league matches. 

Amakhosi look like a well-oiled machine not because they top the PSL standings, but because of how well they play as a team. 

As things stand, it's difficult to predict if Chiefs have what it takes to go all the way and win the league title, but there are glimpses of the 2014/15 season when they are achieved this feat. 

But with the Telkom Knockout Cup on the horizon, and the Nedbank Cup still to play for, Chiefs can still aim high and challenge for either trophy should they fall somewhere along the road in the league title race. 

Chiefs score goals and defend better than Pirates, which could be an added advantage over their arch-rivals. 

Their new signings have already bought into Middendorp's philosophy, and the few we've seen have really come to the party to improve the team.

Middendorp is known for his ability to win Cup competitions, and at this rate, if Chiefs continue to win games then they can dream bigger and look to end their four-year trophy drought this season. 

The German mentor had a fantastic run in the Nedbank Cup last season until his side was beaten by TS Galaxy in the final, but there were lessons learned from that heartbreaking defeat - at least he knows how to reach a cup final. 

In addition, Khama Billiat and many others said their aim was to win silverware with Chiefs, and this was evident as the Zimbabwean talisman turned down several offers for his services before the closing of the transfer window. 

This means Middendorp has, at his disposal, players who are ready to play for him and achieve exactly what his coaching career needs at this stages - trophies - especially after many years of coaching relegation-threatened and bottom-half teams. 

There are still those who feel Middendorp isn't the right man to lead Amakhosi even after his team's brilliant start to the season, but that alone should be motivation enough to keep him going. 

Orlando Pirates 

Things may be on a downward spiral for the Buccaneers, but no one can write them off yet. 

Pirates are among the slowest of starters to any PSL campaign, and while they may look disorganised at the moment, there is still hope they would bounce back. 

Rulani Mokwena was thrown into the deep end way too soon, but this is because Pirates were also caught off guard by Micho Sredojevic's departure three games into the new season. 

Mokwena has a difficult task of making sure the 10 new signings Pirates brought in understand what he wants and which direction the club is taking. 

So far, things aren't looking good but the current Fifa international break came at the right time for Mokwena to work on his combinations and tactics. 

For Pirates, this is their fifth season without a major trophy but given the current the situation where Mokwena is heading the technical team in the interim, and new players still trying it find their feet, they may be forgiven if they shift their focus on rebuilding the team. 

Sredojevic has already won his first trophy with Zamalek - the Egyptian Cup this past weekend - and it's now up to his former club and colleagues to do likewise. 

A new coach may come in at any given time, and whoever joins the club, he will want to change things around and do things his own way. 

That may take time, meaning it may be the case of grinding results until the end of the season to keep Pirates in major competitions for next season, especially the MTN8 which they haven't won in almost a decade. 

Should Mokwena be allowed to continue as a head coach whether in the interim or otherwise, he, himself, would need enough time to get settled in the position and be able to make his own mistakes and learn from them.

As things stand, Chiefs appear likely to win a trophy first this season as Pirates are still struggling to regain the same form that made them nearly unstoppable during Sredojevic's tenure.