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DSTV PREMIERSHIP BIG MATCH PREVIEW: ORLANDO PIRATES VS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS

Last season, Mamelodi Sundowns had the special slaughterhouses for Orlando Pirates both in Pretoria (home) and Soweto (away) as they overpowered them in three meetings in all competitions. Can the Bucs be the avengers?

Last season the Buccaneers had some tactical complications including a hole in the midfield and a weak defense. The Happy People’s encore Ben Motswari was totally off form and couldn’t cover the field well. Their ballplayer Fortune Makaringe failed to link with the forwards.

Pirates’ defense committed a number of schoolboy errors conceding goals unnecessarily. A balanced team like Sundowns wouldn’t cut them some slack as they punished them in almost all instances.

This season the Bucs introduced new talent including a deep midfielder in Goodman Mosele who does the dirty job and dictates the team’s build-ups mostly with short passes. That’s why they have a good shape.

Bandile Shandu is the new regular right-back for the Soweto giants and is adapting quickly. The former Maritzburg United man understands when to overlap. However, the Sea Robbers are still in construction and can’t be perfect overnight.

On the other hand, Masandawana are flying high with almost all their players in form. Competition is tight and this has lifted their already high standards.

The Brazilians’ central midfielder Rivaldo Coetzee has been the shield of the defense and he maintains the build-up at the back. Downs hardly lose possession and whenever they do, they press hard.

Peter Shalulile, Bafana Bastyle’s frontman gets enough chances to find the back of the net with plenty of creativity from the midfield and wings. He has scored in both previous league games.

Players to look out for:

Pirates

•Tshegofatso Mabasa

You rarely find a striker like Mabasa who’s always in the right position at the right time with good finishing. He has scored two goals in his last three league games.

•Ntsako Makhubela

He makes the team move forward and always goes deep in the midfield to collect the ball. Is he going to be able to move freely considering Sundowns’ stability in the midfield?

Sundowns

•Themba Zwane

Whenever he possesses the ball, all his teammates understand him and know what could be his next move. He can create space for himself and likes to play in the pockets seeking the forwards in Shalulile and Kermit Erasmus. The improving Pirates’ defense has a colossal task to contain him.

•Gaston Sirino

His speed can force his way into the dangerous areas and his understanding with Zwane creates problems for defenders.

Injuries/Doubftful/Suspensions:

Lebohang Maboe – Injured (Downs)

Khuliso Mudau, Gift Motupa, Devine Lunga,

Thapelo Morena, Promise Mkhuma – Doubtful (all for Downs)

Richard Ofori – Injured (Bucs)

Thembinkosi Lorch – Injured (Bucs)

Innocent Maela – Injured (Bucs)

Zakhele Lepasa – Injured (Bucs)

Match details:

When – Saturday, 25 September 2021

Time – 15:00

Where – Orlando Stadium

The consistency of Sundowns gives them the edge against any team in the league. Pirates are still building a team, that’s why I see them going down in this one.

Sinethemba Sithole’s prediction: Orlando Pirates 0 – 2 Mamelodi Sundowns

Written by Sinethemba

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