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Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs: Will Solinas do better than Komphela in Soweto Derby matches

08:28 SAST 2018/10/27
Giovanni Solinas Kaizer Chiefs
Chiefs can't afford to stretch their winless streak against Pirates to 10 games, but will Solinas do better than Komphela?

Kaizer Chiefs are on a nine-game winless streak against Orlando Pirates with their last victory over their arch-rivals coming in December 2014 when Stuart Baxter was still their head coach. 

This is the longest run in the history of the Soweto Derby, surpassing their seven-game winless streak set in 1998 when Pirates won 1-0 where Doctor Khumalo missed a sitter with only Williams Okpara to beat in the dying minutes. 

When Steve Komphela took over from Baxter, Chiefs were expected to continue dominating this fixture, but that's when Pirates began to enjoy playing this huge encounter. 

Komphela only won less important matches such as the Carling Black Label Cup, and while he would claim that he did beat Pirates, Amakhosi fans wanted him to win games which had more significance. 

Chiefs now have coach Giovanni Solinas, who admitted this weeek that it would be the first time in his coaching career playing in front of over 90 000 fans. 

But will the Italian mentor do better than Komphela in Soweto Derby matches? 


DEFENCE


Amakhosi have been shaky defensively thus far, and have conceded some cheap goals in the process - this is one area Solinas should make sure it's solid going into this game. 

Previously, Soweto Derby matches have proven to be determine by small margins with both sides dominating either half. 

Pirates are often happy to allow Chiefs to dictate terms in the first half, only to come back stronger in the second period when they know that their they are tiring. 

Should Solinas keep things nice and tight at the back throughout the game, then chances are that Pirates won't get a chance to score. 

He will also need experienced players such as Itumeleng Khune and Ramahlwe Mphahlele to come to the party and give nothing away. 


PACE


Komphela used his full-backs effectively to get to the Pirates box in what he often deemed as a 3-5-2 formation, but that left the defence exposed, leading them to scramble for the ball whenever they had to clear their lines. 

This was evident when Luvuyo Memela came off the bench to score twice in quick succession in that 3-1 loss to Chiefs earlier this year. 

But with Memela out injured, the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Vincent Pule, who doesn't have the same pace as the Cape Town All Stars, but is very dangerous from outside the box. 

Solinas should keep an eye on at least two Pirates dangermen and cut the supply by deploying players who will watch them closely - this will ensure less work for the Amakhosi defence. 

Komphela relied heavily on Willard Katsande to do the dirty work during his time, but the Zimbabwean midfielder was often outnumbered by pacey midfielders in the middle of the park. 


GOALS


Komphela's team wasn't scoring too many goals, and this was simply one of the main reasons he couldn't beat Pirates with the Chiefs squad that he had. 

He was too concerned about defending even when everyone knew that Chiefs had no problems at the back. 

This time around, Solinas has to go all out and ensure that his team scores, especially with the kind of players he has at his disposal. 

Khama Billiat, Dumisani Zuma and Leonardo Castro should find a way to work together and snap this winless streak. 

Fielding the abovementioned trio would force Pirates to stick to four defenders at the back while giving little room for their full-backs to move up and down. 

This strategy coupled with man-marking Pirates' dangermen in midfield should limit Micho Sredojevic's options going forward as they will have to do more defensive work than attacking. 

In all, Solinas can definitely do better than Komphela in Soweto Derby matches simply because he has the players from defence high up.

The 50-year-old mentor has no reason to hold back and hope for Pirates to slip up.

Instead, he should take the game to Bucs and be cautious not to give anything away defensively.