The PSL fixture involving the two most popular local football clubs is scheduled for the FNB Stadium (kickoff 3.30pm).
Rewind the clock to the heady, heyday of Chiefs and Pirates and debate and discussion revolved around the flair, attacking players like Ace Ntsoelengoe, Teenage Dladla, Fani Madida, Doctor Khumalo, Jomo Sono, Sense Lekwane, Teboho Moloi, Bashin Mahlangu, and many more…
Modern football, however, prizes defence over attack, which is why Chiefs’ Zimbabwean hard man Katsande and Pirates’ Senegalese scrapper Sarr hold the key to victory. Whichever of these two wins the midfield battle, and allows the tricky talent in front of him to flourish, will invariably win the derby contest.
In fact, Chiefs coach Steve Komphela took the big decision not to play Katsande in the weekend game against Platinum Stars. With the Zimbabwean on three yellow cards, Komphela did not want to risk the player getting a fourth, being suspended, and then missing the clash against Pirates.
As it was, Amakhosi lost 2-1 to Dikwena, but it just proves that Katsande’s presence against arch-rivals Pirates was more important to Komphela.
Pirates also come off a defeat - 1-0 to Jomo Cosmos - but Sarr insists that things will turn around for the Buccaneers.
“As players, we always work hard,” said the Senegalese, a former Chippa United player. “We have to be strong, we will get it right, we have to stick together.
“For me, it’s all about our plan. I listen to the coach and his instructions. It’s not good to find ourselves in the bottom half of the table... I know that our supporters are frustrated, but I’m pleading with them to be patient. They must be patient with the coach and the players because we are all working together to get the team out of this difficult situation and we are doing our best. We’ll continue fighting and we are going to make sure that we win the derby for them.”
Original source: Katsande, Sarr hold key to derby success