Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Tshabalala closing in on 30 Soweto Derby appearances

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Siphiwe Tshabalala & Ntsikeleleo Nyauza
Shabba is expected to make his 29th consecutive Soweto Derby appearance when Chiefs host fierce rivals Pirates at the Calabash this weekend

Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala is set to extend his long-standing record for most Soweto Derby appearances when Kaizer Chiefs welcome Orlando Pirates to the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Shabba has featured 28 times against the Buccaneers since making his first Soweto Derby appearance in November 2007.

Additionally, Shabba has never missed a single Soweto Derby match, making 26 starts and two substitute appearances over the last 10 years – meaning he’s the only player to have featured in 28 consecutive matches against the Sea Robbers.

The 32-year-old former Bafana Bafana star set the new record two years ago when he overtook Lucky Lekgwathi, who had 22 Soweto Derby appearances under his belt before he retired from professional football.     

Shabba Soweto Derby PS

He has found the back of net four times against Pirates, and could well fancy his chances of adding to this tally this weekend.  Shabba has already shown signs of regaining his old form in recent matches.

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Now, having signed a new contract with Amakhosi which will run until June 2018, Tshabalala could well hit the 30-appearance landmark before he calls it quits, provided he remains injury free.

There’s still a possibility for Shabba to reach that landmark before the end of the current season, but that is if Chiefs and Pirates draw each other in this year’s Nedbank Cup.

The two Soweto giants met in Nedbank Cup Last 32 last season, with Pirates walking away 2-0 winners courtesy of Tendai Ndoro’s brace.