Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper Daniel Akpeyi is upbeat about his side’s chances in Saturday’s clash with Orlando Pirates in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Chiefs and Pirates, who are only separated by two points, face off in the Soweto Derby – one of the biggest derbies in the world – as the undoubted standout fixture in the PSL this weekend.
The Super Eagles goalkeeper is set for another Soweto derby experience and has been an important figure in the Amakhosi team since joining from Chippa United in 2019.
The 35-year-old, who is poised to make his eighth appearance in the fixture, spoke exclusively to https://www.aclsports.com ahead of the big game.
“Soweto derby is one of the biggest derbies in Africa and if I’m not mistaken, it is the sixth biggest derby in the world. Not just Africans are looking forward to the derby, but all over the world. A lot of fans are participating by supporting their teams be it Chiefs or Pirates. I have always looked forward to it and I have always looked forward to having the opportunity to be part of the team that will be playing on the day. It is a great privilege to be part of the derby,” Akpeyi told https://www.aclsports.com
Akpeyi went on to speak about the expectations of the fans and his side’s chances of returning to winning ways after midweek’s 1-0 home loss to Stellenbosch FC.
“The expectation is huge and it is a game for the fans and for sometimes the fans have been looking for this. So it is a game we want to give them with pleasure and finish well. We have to look at the current form, Pirates are doing well and somehow we are also doing well and climbing up the ladder gradually. So, sometimes we have some hiccup like we lost our last game.”
“It is a game we are looking forward to, not just as a derby because it is a league game but we are also looking for points to climb up the log again. We just want to be focused and make sure we take our chances, focus on our structure and I know it’s not going to be an easy game. The game comes with its own strength and we have to match up with that and in the time past, we have been doing that. We also need to remind ourselves again that we need three points for us to be in a better position on the log,” Akpeyi added.
On Chiefs’ current form and the pressure that comes with playing for the side, he hopes the team can find its rhythm against their arch-rivals.
“Honestly, when you play for a team like Chiefs, there is always pressure to win games. Looking at the level of the team, I think we deserve to win games but for some reason, we are struggling. But then we are working out things and we know that we will come right.”
Meanwhile, the former Warri Wolves goalkeeper hopes he will be able to face his counterpart Olisa Ndah on Saturday.
“It is a good thing to have another Nigerian playing for Pirates. In times past we used to have Nigerians playing there, but for some time, Nigerians were not seen playing in the team. But now we have another player Ndah who is doing very well in the team and it will be nice to have him play that day.”
Kaizer Chiefs welcome Orlando Pirates to the FNB Stadium for the 101st all-time Soweto derby on Saturday and kick-off is at 2:30 pm (Nigerian Time).