Cape Town — Soweto's soccer faithful are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of five Kaizer Chiefs players running out alongside as many Orlando Pirates players in the Warriors FC line-up for Saturday's Compact Cup semi-finals at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.
Chiefs will have Itumeleng Khune, Njabulo Blom, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Njabulo Ncgobo and Keagan Dolly in the run-on XI. Pirates have Paseko Mako, Happy Jele, Thembinkosi Lorch, Deon Hotto and Kwame Peprah starting.
The only other player in the run-on XI is Swallows defender Thabo Matlaba, but he is no stranger to the Soweto faithful since he played several seasons for Pirates in the past.
Galaxy FC, the fourth club in the Warriors franchise, an Inland 2 composition, have no players in the starting XI.
The make-up of the Warriors represents an embarrassment of football riches, and it will be interesting to see what battle plan their coach Dylan Kerr will devise for the match against Amabutho on Saturday.
Kerr will be assisted by Fani Madida (ex-Chiefs) and Percy Moloi(ex-Pirates), and if the latter two coaches had their way, they would probably settle for a 'Kasi Flava' show.
The big surprise in the Warriors line-up is goalkeeper Khune making the side ahead of the highly fancied Bruce Bvuma, who has been a popular choice for Chiefs this season. Despite being out of favour for most of the season, the voting fans have made their voices heard and hence Khune has been given the nod.
Khune and a few other Chiefs players like Sabelo Radebe and Mduduzi Tshabalala could use the Compact Cup competition to strengthen their selection claims in the future. A sound performance with force the Chiefs coaches to re-evaluate their worth.
Midfielder Radebe has enjoyed the odd outing at Premiership level, but he is still a member of the reserve team, and a strong performance could see him migrate to the senior ranks for the rest of the season.
In the other semi-final, Coastal United will be up against Dinaledi also at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the earlier 3pm start. The Warriors - Amabutho clash will kick-off at 6pm.
Saturday's winners will qualify for the final on Saturday, 29 January, at the FNB Stadium Johannesburg in a 2.30pm kick-off.
The losing semi-finalists will play at noon at the same stadium.
Semi-final fixtures, Saturday, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban:
3pm: Coastal United vs Dinaledi
6pm: Warriors vs Amabutho
Compact Cup starting line-ups
Warriors FC: Itumeleng Khune, Njabulo Ngcobo, Paeka Mako, Happy Jele, Thabo Matlaba, Thembinkosi Lorch, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Njabulo Blom, Deon Hotto, Keagan Dolly, Kwame Peprah.
Coastal United FC: Oscarine Masuluke, Terrence Mashego, Taariq Fielies, Robyn Johannes, Denwin Farmer, Thabo Nodada, Mpho Makola, Mogakolodi Ngele, Nathan Sinkala, Evidence Makgopa, Ashley du Preez
Amabutho: Veli Mothwa, Tapelo Xoki, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Keegan Ritchie, Siyabonga Dube, Luvuyo Memela, Thabo Qalinge, Tebogo Potsane, Daylon Claasen, Victor Letsoalo, Augustine Mulenga
Dinaledi FC: Ricardo Goss, Rushine de Reuck, Nyiko Mobbie, Luke Fleurs, Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Gaston Sirino, Teboho Mokoena, Sipho Mbule, Phillip Ndlondlo, Kermit Erasmus, Gift Motupa