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Kaizer Chiefs

Have Kaizer Chiefs overtaken Orlando Pirates long term?

5:12 PM IST 23/11/21
Dolly Billiat Mathoho Parker Kaizer Chiefs
Amakhosi moved up to sixth position on the weekend and while Bucs are seventh and just three points back, the Sea Robbers appear to be floundering

In the space of just a few months, it appears as if Kaizer Chiefs have leapfrogged Orlando Pirates in the PSL pecking order.

  • Tlhophane Motsepe, Neo Maema, Grant Kekana and Thabiso Kutumela, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2021

    Mamelodi Sundowns, and the rest

    For the time being, Mamelodi Sundowns appear unstoppable in their quest to win a fifth consecutive PSL league title.

    The real race seems to be between the chasing pack, as to who will finish second and grab a place in the Caf Champions League.

    Orlando Pirates were just pipped to that position by AmaZulu last term. The way things are at present, the Buccaneers are looking even further off the pace than they did last season under head coach Josef Zinnbauer.

    It seems to be the other way around for Chiefs, who scraped a top-eight finish at the end of the 2020/ 21 campaign.

  • Abel Mabaso, Orlando Pirates & Pule Mmodi, Golden Arrows, November 2021

    Results don’t lie

    While Chiefs started the season sluggishly, Bucs began with a few decent league results. But as the weeks and months have gone by, Pirates have become increasingly inconsistent while the Glamour Boys seem to be heading in the right direction.

    Amakhosi have won four of their last five league matches, and five of their 11 league games in total.

    Pirates meanwhile have only won one of their last seven league encounters, and have just three wins in the Premiership all season, also from 11 games. It’s a poor record for a club of their stature.

  • Linda Mntambo, Orlando Pirates & Keagan Dolly, Kaizer Chiefs, November 2021

    Derby boost

    Just before the international break, Chiefs recorded a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Pirates, the win coming at just the right time for them, following victories over Chippa United and SuperSport as well.

    The Glamour Boys are now building real momentum, which carried on with last weekend’s triumph over Maritzburg United. The Soweto derby may prove pivotal in both teams’ fortunes this season.

  • Fortune Makaringe Khama Billiat Kaizer Chiefs

    Chiefs getting sharper up front, Bucs blunter

    When it comes to the business end of the field, scoring goals and winning matches, Amakhosi have been vastly improved in recent months, thanks largely to the combination of Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly and the improved form of Bernard Parker. They've scored nine goals in their last five outings.


    Conversely, the Sea Robbers have been struggling to take their chances and have netted only six goals in their least 10 league outings, the latest setback a 0-0 draw with Golden Arrows last weekend.

  • Kgaogelo Sekgota Kaizer Chiefs Thembinkosi Lorch Orlando Pirates

    Injury excuses

    Pirates can rightfully point to a long injury list as a reason for their stuttering form. But a club of their status has a big squad, and Chiefs have also had quite a few injuries to key players – the likes of Samir Nurkovic, Leonardo Castro and Lebogang Manyama, but have managed to overcome those.

  • stuart baxter

    Baxter a settling influence

    Amakhosi head coach Stuart Baxter has won trophies in the PSL, both with Chiefs (in his previous spell) and with SuperSport United.

    Beyond the trophies and the tactics though, it’s perhaps his calm, affable nature that has worked to his benefit in the PSL. He generally controls his emotions well and speaks with good reason and logic. Strong communication is crucial in a football team, and that seems to be one of the Brit’s strengths.

    At Pirates, Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids seem promising enough, relatively young coaches. But they don’t have Baxter’s experience, and the jury remains out as to whether they were ready to handle a team as big as Pirates.

    Also, when there are two coaches in charge, there’s the possibility of mixed messages and uncertainty.

  • Keagan Dolly Khama Billiat Kaizer Chiefs

    New signings

    The likes of Keagan Dolly, Cole Alexander, Sifiso Hlanti, Phathutshedzo Nange and Njabulo Ngcobo have significantly bolstered Amakhosi.

    It’s only really central defender Olisa Ndah, of Pirates’ new signings, who had added anything to their team.

    There seems little question at the moment that Kaizer Chiefs are on a more positive trajectory than Orlando Pirates.