Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Even the fans, especially the vaccinated, who have had the privilege to watch this season’s games, especially Moneni Pirates and Manzini Wanderers, who meet in this week’s biggest fixture, the hub derby which is the mother of all derbies in the city of Manzini.

Yes, Wanderers had another clash with neighbours Denver Sundowns last week, which they won 2-0 to claim three points and the bragging rights but this is the main one of the other hub rivals, the maroon and white Wanderers, can play. These are two clubs with no real big names in their squads after releasing a number of players due to lack of results and huge wage bill among other reasons.

Skipper Mthunzi faces torrid ‘homecoming’

Once a pirate always a pirate! Will this moniker have any role in this clash? Can it haunt Manzini Wanderers Captain and full back Mthunzi Motsa who traded the black and white of Moneni Pirates for the maroon and white of LiWeseli as Wanderers are also fondly known? Interestingly, he is in his second season at Wanderers but when he joined, a couple or so of the big names that Wanderers put on transfer two seasons ago landed at Pirates and these include marquee defender Sihle Mkhonta and then national team Sihlangu Semnikati’s Jose Machado, who joined another former Weslian in defender Takawira.

However, both Mkhonta and Machado are now with struggling Milling Hot Spurs who just recorded their first two wins in the past week, first against rookies Rangers who they beat 1-0 before the 3-0 shock win against Tambankulu Callies, who had just outfoxed Mbabane Swallows 4-2 in a mid-week fixture. Also to don the Wanderers jersey from Pirates is striker Fabrice Mopina. This hub derby has come at a time when both sides are blazing hot these days with spectacular displays by their no big name but awesomely talented young players in their early and mid-20s.

Pirates have the youngest and most gifted of the fresh talent and it is hard to pick one that the Nyanga ‘Crooks’ Hlophe-led Wanderers can pay attention to. They are dangerous from midfield to the front, which explains their latest goal scoring spree – it is wave after wave with this team under interesting coach Gcina Dlamini, who is a tiki taka loving gaffer when they start attacking and prone to winning as many fouls if they get a panicky defence. Pirates scored six goals in about four days last week, beating Green Mamba 3-2 and then inflicting the first defeat after nine games to leaders and reigning champions Royal Leopard with a 3-2 margin as well when they had held second-place and the only unbeaten team, Mbabane Highlanders 1-all.

I read on Facebook how the COVID-19 vaccinated fans were already having their grip on this one and rightly so. One posted #Jova, ungazami kufohla; the teams need those gate collections. It’s wafa wafa. Mahhala Weseli, Fasa Bhakaniya’ which loosely translates to that people must vaccinate to watch the game legitimately for the benefit of the clubs – 2 000 vaccinated spectators are allowed at Mavuso Sports Centre but not even the fixture between Highlanders and Wanderers could make that number. Can this one be the first ahead of the biggest derby in the land – Highlanders and Swallows in about two weeks as it is Round 12 of the master fixture? Be there or be squared but if you love good football like you see it on SuperSport pay channel when your European leagues play, then this is one of the games to watch. Come Saturday, 3pm is the kick-off time!

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image: