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Pirates target Katzande in plot to foil rival Chiefs

With the 164th Soweto Derby looming large, Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena has all but revealed his plan of approach to success against their longtime arch rival Kaizer Chiefs when the two teams go head-to-head on Saturday.

Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena during a training session. Picture: Twitter/@Orlandopirates

JOHANNESBURG - With the 164th Soweto Derby looming large, Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena has all but revealed his plan of approach to success against their longtime arch rival Kaizer Chiefs when the two teams go head to head at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Mokwena, who is renowned for his astute tactical acumen, highlighted the importance of Amakhosi’s hardman Willard Katzande in their game plan and says that his side will have to conjure up a plan to stop the Zimbabwean international’s influence in the game.

The deep laying midfield player is one of few Chiefs players that has played almost every game on the 2018/19 season and Mokwena says that Katzande has the ability to get the Glamour Boys ticking in their build-up play.

“With Chiefs there is not a lot of rotation happening in the midfield. Katzande is always the focal point and is an important part of the axis and the foundation of the team. He is a very matured player and very important for the phases of the game model of Chiefs.”

“They always want to build from the back and want you to enforce a high pressing game so that they can play the ball over the top for their dangerous men like Khama Billiat and Katzande is vital to that game.

“But the thing is that Katzande needs more than one touch to be able to deliver the ball to guys like Khama and that is dangerous. They will do that, and they look good when they do that, and we have to find a way to stop Katzande from doing that.”

Chiefs have tinkered with their lineup at various times during the course of the season so far and they have been hit with injuries to six key players that include Billiat and striker Leonardo Castro, but Mokwena says that although they have chopped and changed, their game plan remains the same.

“I think their coach has been extremely smart in how he uses his squad. At certain moments he plays Ntiya-Ntiya, at certain moments he plays Walusimbi, but with all the personnel changes their game model stays the same and that is important for them. We have done our work and we will continue to dig deeper to make sure all our players have the information they need to be successful on the day.”

With more than 82,000 tickets sold, the Soweto Derby will once again be the focal point in the Premier Soccer League season this weekend.

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