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Orlando Pirates must be wary of aerial threat of Kaizer Chiefs striker Nurkovic – Khan

The 60-year-old also feels Sandilands will be key for the Buccaneers against Amakhosi

Former Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Farouk Khan says the best-prepared team will win this weekend’s Soweto Derby.

Amakhosi will be away to their archrivals Orlando Pirates in a blockbuster clash at the iconic FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

Khan discussed the coaching philosophy of Bucs coach Josef Zinnbauer, who will be taking charge of his maiden Soweto Derby, and his Chiefs counterpart Ernst Middendorp with both men hailing from Germany.

“They are both professional coaches, who’ve done well so far. Middendorp has ensured that Chiefs remained top of the table standings for the better part of the season. Zinnbauer, on the other hand, has helped the team to start winning again,” Khan told IOL.

Khan, who has also served as Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach, indicated it is important for the two tacticians to ensure the players are ready for the massive encounter.

“Both coaches should ensure that the players are psychologically prepared because I don’t think tactics are really important at this stage of the season, especially going into a match such as the derby,” he continued.

“Players will have to rise to the occasion, and coaches have to get behind them – uplift their confidence so that they are able to deliver on the day.”

The veteran coach feels Bucs will need to be wary of Samir Nurkovic, who is dangerous from set-pieces, while Frank Mhango is likely to cause serious problems for the Amakhosi defence with his pace.

“The technical team of Pirates should ensure that Chiefs do not play balls into their half because that will put them under a lot of pressure. Samir Nurkovic is able to control play upfront and we’ve also seen how dangerous he is on set pieces. I think that will also need Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to be on his best on the day,” he added.

“Chiefs’ defence has also done well this season but they’ve struggled to deal with pace, something that can benefit Gabadinho Mhango who’s been causing a lot of havoc recently. But it will depend on how they use the threat on the day.”

The Stars of Africa academy football director believes that the best-prepared team will walk away victorious on the day.

“I don’t think the derby experience will count for anything, but the best-prepared team will be the one that comes out tops. Pirates have been playing for the coach and the badge recently,” he stressed.

“Chiefs, on the other hand, are playing to win the league. And I think if Chiefs doesn’t win it, this will be their most disappointing season, overshadowing the last few campaigns where they won nothing as well.”

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