Orlando Pirates will be aiming to get their second consecutive win as they continue to climb the table.
Pirates have won three of their last five league games. They seem to be starting to pull up their socks as they fight for the title and champions league spots. However, the Buccaneers have been somewhat disappointing this season considering the quality signings they made before the start.
Meanwhile the arrival of the new coach Dan Malesela at Chippa United has helped them improve. They’re playing well but results have not reflected their quality on the pitch with only one win in their last five league games.
Fortune Makaringe is in fine form and one of the key players for the Soweto giants. In his last six appearances he has scored one goal and provided two assists. He has significantly improved his performances compared with the early stages of the season. If I was his coach, I would keep him in the starting line up as he adds more spark to the team.
Striker Bienvenu Eva Nga and midfielder Andile Mbenyane are United’s key players. Mbenyane has scored three goals in his last nine appearances and can be a playmaker for the Chilli Boys. While Eva Nga has scored five goals in his last 10 appearances and is promising to be a man to rely on for the Eastern Cape side.
I feel that Malesela should approach this game the same way he has been doing lately. His team has adapted in building play from the back and playing more on the ground than in the air. Pirates are also playing the same style as Malesela’s and this will make the game more competitive as both teams have an attacking style. The battle will be more in the midfield and this is where the game will be won or lost.
Bucs recently welcomed back strikers Tshegofatso Mabasa and Gabadinho Mhango from injuries giving more options for the team up front. The technical team had a challenge as all their strikers were out injured and had to use a false number nine in recent matches.
I’d say this is going to be a stalemate as Malesela’s team is always strong when playing big teams while Pirates will not lose easily.
The match will be played on Saturday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with Kick Off at 17:00
Sinethemba Sithole’s prediction: Chippa United 1-1 Orlando Pirates