Chiefs’ poor defence
Siyabonga Ngezana and Mario Booysen’s partnership is proving very volatile. In their last five fixtures together, the pair have kept just two clean sheets while conceding five goals in total – including four in their two fixtures against Orlando Pirates. In Saturday’s Telkom Knockout semi-final, they looked very uncertain and lacked decisiveness in dealing with threats. On the fringes is Teenage Hadebe – their only left-footed centre-back, who has played just two matches this season. Despite being one of the key defensive figures last season, he seems not to be in Giovanni Solinas’s plans as he was left out of the matchday squad on the weekend.
Pirates’ improved finishing
Pirates seem to have found their scoring boots, having scored nine goals in their last five fixtures – failing only to find the back of the net against Mamelodi Sundowns. The Buccaneers’ investment in finishing coach Stephane Adam is beginning to show dividends, as goals are now looking like a surety in each game. The likes of Vincent Pule, Thembinkosi Lorch, Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga have all chipped in for a combined 16 goals so far this season.
Chiefs’ misfiring stars
The likes of Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro and Dumisani Zuma have managed a combined two goals in their last 10 fixtures since their 4-1 victory over Cape Town City in mid-September. Chiefs have also not managed more than one goal in their last eight fixtures – totalling, in fact, only five goals since beating AmaZulu 2-0 over two months ago. Their source of goals is also inconsistent, with the likes of Pule Ekstein (2), Siyabonga Ngezana, Gustavo Paez, Philani Zulu and Ramahlwe Mphahlele all chipping in for their last nine goals.
Pirates on the right track
The work of Milutin Sredojevic and his technical team is clearly noticeable – both in terms of their game-play as well as their results. However, they are not yet at their peak, with some work still to be done in as far as their fluency is concerned. Their careless giving away of possession and conceding soft goals are two particular areas that still need attention but, while the results are forthcoming, this is not a dire concern.
Chiefs are going nowhere
Despite four months since his arrival at the start of the season, Amakhosi are still unconvincing under Solinas. The Italian looked to be headed in the right direction after winning three games on the trot to bag the Absa Premiership Coach of the Month award for September, but the side have since gone astray with their performances. Their style of play remains unrefined, with their defensive organisation in complete disarray, while their attacking threat has slowly deteriorated despite boasting sufficient quality to overcome any team in the PSL.