While the Sea Robbers and Amakhosi have not performed at their best this season, the buccaneers have a lot more to prove during Saturday’s derby at FNB stadium.
Pirates, which was charged with contravening Rule 54 of the National Soccer Leauge Rules for the unruly behaviour of their fans during a match with Sundown last month, have a lot riding on Saturday’s game.
Not only have they performed poorly this season – but their new coach Kjell Jonevret also has to prove that he has what it takes to take the team forward.
So far, the buccaneers are currently sitting at the bottom of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with 21 points. The team is sitting at 14 points behind log leaders SuperSport United, who are sitting at 35 points.
Although winning Saturday’s game will not change Pirates’ fate this season, SuperSport commentator and Destiny Man Editor, Thabiso ‘TT’ Tema, reckons it will appease the team’s supporters.
“For Pirates this is a massive game, because their run right now is very bad run. I think they are already far behind to put up any sort of meaningful title challenge, but they also don’t want to be falling any further back. It’s very important that they get their supporters back and there’s no better way to appease Pirates fans than in a derby,” he says.
He adds that while Amakhosi also needs a win, Pirates needs it more. Tema, however, suspects that both coaches will play it safe and will focus more on the defence than attacking.
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“Because there is so much that rides on the derby, it’s quite possible that Steve Komphela might focus on being defensive. I remember when Steward Baxter was in charge, when he had a comfortable lead at the top of the table, when the derby came along, he went defensive,” he says.
He believes that with Chiefs only being one point behind SuperSport United and Cape Town City, they don’t really need the win against Pirates.
“Pirates absolutely need the win. They haven’t won a game in nine matches. They really need a pick me up. Their fans won’t take a loss really well, but I don’t think they will react the same way they reacted against Sundowns,” he says.
The game starts at 3.30pm at FNB stadium.