The teams for the traditional PSL season opener, the Carling Black Label Cup between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, have been named with fans having their voices heard.
Unfortunately for Chiefs fans’ the news of Keagan Dolly and Cole Alexander’s arrivals came too late to be voted on but that said, the club’s fans were not shy on casting their votes.
Chiefs forward Samir Nurkovic topped the charts with more than 193 000 votes. Behind him Itumeleng Khune received over 188 000 and Khama Billiat proved to be third most popular as he finished on 131 000.
Only Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Ofori and striker Thabang Monare managed more than 100 000 votes for Pirates.
That might not bother Buccanners coach Josef Zinnbauer too much as his side looks to defend their title earned in 2019. Last season this exhibition match was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
An issue for Pirates heading into the new campaign is a number of fitness worries facing key players.
“We have five players out, they are not in training sessions like (Tshegofatso) Mabasa, (Zakhele) Lepasa, Happy (Jele) Terrence Dzvukamanja and (Vincent) Pule they haven’t often been on the field in the last 10 or 14 days,” Zinnbauer told the media recently.
“It is a little bit of a stress, but it is much better than the last season. we know that we have almost five and a half weeks of pre-season compared to last season where we had two weeks, it’s a big difference because we can work on tactics, we can work on conditioning,” the German coach added.
For Chiefs, Happy Mashiane was voted in despite his red card all but ending his side’s recent bid to win the CAF Champions League.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 5pm.
Orlando Pirates: Richard Ofori, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Innocent Maela, Wayde Jooste, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Thembinkosi Lorch, Ben Motshwari, Deon Hotto, Fortune Makaringe, Thabang Monare, Gabadinho Mhango
Kaizer Chiefs: Itumeleng Khune, Erick Mathoho, Daniel Cardoso, Happy Mashiane, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Lebohang Lesako, Njabulo Blom, Kearyn Baccus, Sabelo Radebe, Samir Nurkovic, Khama Billiat