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COMMENT: Who should start in goal for Orlando Pirates against Kaizer Chiefs?

1:38 PM WAT 23/11/2018
Siyabonga Mpontshane, Orlando Pirates
The 2016 Caf Coach of the Year nominee has one of those good selection dilemmas on his hands

Orlando Pirates  head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic may face a selection headache when deciding on his preferred goalkeeper for the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final clash with Kaizer Chiefs

The Buccaneers boast one of the most experienced goalkeeping departments in the country.  

Brilliant Khuzwayo, Jackson Mabokgwane, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Wayne Sandilands have impeccable experience having all turned out for Bafana Bafana in the past.

Micho is spoiled for choice as he has four competent keepers to pick from ahead of their massive clash with Chiefs on Saturday.

Bucs are heading into the second Soweto Derby of the season having failed to keep a clean sheet in three of their last four matches in all competitions. 

Mpontshane has been Pirates' first-choice thus far, but the former Platinum Stars shotstopper has been rotated with Mabokgwane in recent matches.

Forgotten-man Sandilands showed that he is still an option for Micho by producing a man of the match performance during Bucs' win over Chiefs in a much-publicized Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC) match last weekend.

However, the 34-year-old, has fallen down the pecking order under Sredojevic and he could leave the club in the next transfer window as he has been left out of Bucs' Caf Champions League squad.

Khuzwayo was arguably Pirates' marquee signing during the July-August 2018, but he injured himself soon after joining the club.

The lanky shot-stopper, who has never lost in the Soweto Derby (competitive matches), will be relishing the opportunity to make his official debut for Bucs against his former side.

However, throwing Khuzwayo into the deep end could backfire as the keeper is most likely to suffer from rustiness having been sidelined for over three months and he will need a few matches to regain his match fitness and form. 

This would leave Micho with two options - Mabokgwane and Mpontshane - who have shared the workload this season. 

Mabokgwane, who is error-prone, has produced some promising displays, but he has been dropped from the starting line-up against top teams like Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns this season.

Micho has been cautious with the former South Africa youth international, who is yet to make his debut in the Soweto Derby despite having joined Bucs in 2016.

The former Sundowns shot-stopper also lacks the Big Match Temperament (BMT) needed in a massive game like the Soweto Derby.

The Serbian coach should therefore stick with Mpontshane, with the goal-minder having kept a clean sheet in Pirates' last competitive game which was a titanic PSL clash with the defending champions Sundowns almost two weeks ago.

The experienced keeper, who has was also in goal during the team's recent win over Chiefs, is most used to Bucs' style of possession play. 

Lastly, Mpontshane has gained the trust of Bucs defenders, making it easy for the back four to remain compact.