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Must Win Derby For Swallows, Pirates 09/01/04
If they are to have much hope of challenging for the league title this season, both Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates know they have to win their Castle Premiership clash at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Dube Birds currently lie seven points adrift of pace-setters Kaizer Chiefs as we head for the mid-way point of the season, while Pirates are a massive ten points back, though they do have a game in hand.

As ever, there is bound to be a special atmosphere when the two Soweto giants meet, as there was when Pirates beat Swallows 1-0 in the first round match at the FNB Stadium in November, thanks to a Jimmy Kauleza strike in the 78th minute.

But both teams have been in reasonable form over the last few months and should return rejuvenated from their Christmas break.

What will worry Swallows' coach Gavin Hunt is the number of defeats his side have incurred so far this season, four in 14 games, the most of any of the teams in the top six. But it has been there ability to win matches as well which has kept them in the race for the championship.

Pirates, on the other hand, have lost just twice, but drawn five times, and it is this inability to finish off sides which will be worrying caretaker coach Augusto Palacios most. The Peruvian does, however, believe he has a plan to break down the Birds.

"Playing against Swallows is not easy, but we will expose them because I know their strengths and weaknesses," Palacios told This Day newspaper.

The home side will be without Gift Leremi (knee injury), Abednigo Netshiozwi and influential defender Papi Khomane (both suspended), but will have stars Benedict Vilakazi and Kauleza available to play.

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