Tue, 26 May 2020

Pirates brace for 'CBN' factor in Soweto derby

07 Nov 2019, 23:42 GMT+10

Cape Town - The combination of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Samir Nurkovic have formed a formidable attacking trio for Kaizer Chiefs in recent weeks and Orlando Pirates will need to be at their best to keep them at bay.

Matters have not been made any easier for the Sea Robbers, who have an injury crisis in their defensive ranks.

Happy Jele and Mthokozisi Dube are both ruled out with suspension, meaning Buccaneers coach Rhulani Mokwena will likely have to put his trust in the untested pairing of Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Alfred Ndengane.

It was Mamelodi Sundowns who last had the proven goalscoring trio in Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly - aptly named CBD.

The trio led Sundowns to Absa Premiership and CAF Champions League glory in 2016 before Castro and Billiat were offloaded to Chiefs in mega-money deals.

After Chiefs' 4-2 Shell Helix Ultra Cup victory over Sundowns, Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane admitted that decision to release the duo had come back to 'bite' him and his side.

"They were clinical in the first half and they did the job. We lost to a strong team, hard running and powerful - the CBD was on fire, it reminds me of my days with them. They came back to bite me," Mosimane told journalists after the game.

Of course, the only one missing from that CBD was Dolly, but Nurkovic has proven to be an astute signing and has fitted in seamlessly. The Serb striker is not just a bulldozer but has subtlety in terms of vision and off-the-ball movement.

Castro, meanwhile, found himself on the fringes of the starting XI at the beginning of the season but has worked his way back to the top of the pecking order.

Billiat has not exactly set the league alight but may just be saving his best for the clash with arch-rivals Pirates.

Meanwhile, Middendorp will be hoping that 'CBN' continue to torment opposition defences as it could be the foundation for Chiefs breaking their trophy drought - which extends back to the 2014/15 season.

Saturday's match starts at 15:00.

- TeamTalk Media

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