We’ve got derby fever!

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By Ainsley Daniels, IOL

SOWETO DERBY – FNB STADIUM, SATURDAY (3pm)

The game sees the Soweto derby debut of both managers: Stuart Baxter for Chiefs and Roger De Sa for Pirates.

Stuart Baxter has impressed in his short stint at Chiefs so far. He’s managed to get his team to play as unit, and more importantly, he seems to have given them a winning mentality.

With thirteen games played, the Amakhosi, top the table with 30 points, having scored 27 goals, and only conceding 9. They have won nine of their games, three draws and a solitary defeat.

Bernard Parker seems to have found his mojo again, finding the net eight times so far. He has been ably assisted by Lehlohonolo Majora with seven goals. Chiefs seem to have what it takes to win their first PSL title in years.

Orlando Pirates are second on the PSL log, just three behind Chiefs.

They have also been without the enigmatic Benni McCarthy for almost three months, sidelined due to knee injury.

McCarthy’s presence cannot be underestimated. He seems to be enjoying his football agains and as a former Champions League winner, he bring experience to the club.

Roger Da Sa in the past has lamented on his side’s inconsistency, and this was once again illustrated when they were held to a draw by newcomers Chippa United.

Verdict: On current form, I must go with Chiefs. 1-0.

One Day Cup semi-final: Cape Cobras vs Nashua Titans, SUNDAY (10am)

The Cape Cobras beat the Titans convincingly by 111 runs Wednesday evening when the two sides met at Boland Park, with Richard Levi hammering 166 off 134 balls.

Levi – the competition’s leading run scorer – has found able mates in fellow opener Andrew Puttick, who has complimentated his aggressive style with a more cautions approach. Stiaan van Zyl has also been impressive in recent knocks.

Justin Kemp has been impressive with the ball this season, taking ten wickets.

The Titans, have blown hot and cold this year. They have an excellent batting line up, with Henry Davids and Heino Kuhn the stadnout performers. Martin van Jaarsveld and Farhaan Berhadien have ably supporting them.

The batting has not been the problem, but the bowling, as illustrated in Paarl has troubled them.

Verdict: Cobras win.

Manchester Derby – Etihad Stadium, sunday (3.30pm)

Manchester City have not looked like the team they were last season, despite being the only team in all four English divisions not to have lost a league game so far this season.

Their home record has been impressive. City’s best rest results have come when David Silva has been at his best. However, the playmaker picked up a hamstring injury last weekend and did not play in the midweek Champions League defeat to Dortmund.

Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero have not hit their straps at all this season, with the partnership not quite delivering the results that Mancini would have hoped this season.

Sir Alex Ferguson, and Manchester United have other problems though. They have been leaking goals left, right and centre this season, and Ferguson is worried – rightly so.

United have conceded 33 goals in 24 games and have kept just four clean sheets.

The fact that Fergie still has not made up his mind over who his number one goalkeeper is does not help the situation.

Up front, it’s been left to Robin van Persie to carry the team.

Verdict: A 1-1 draw. – IOL

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