Bucs and 'Downs collide at Orlando
Orlando Pirates will be out to register their 3rd straight win when they host Mamelodi Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night, kickoff at 20:15 CAT.
The Buccaneers, who are still playing league catch-up, have won their last two outings at home, and they lie 6th on the log with 23 points after 12 matches. After beating Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits last week, coachless Bucs, who are guided by Eric Tinkler on interim bases, will have to double their effort if they are to beat second-placed Sundowns.
The Brazilians are second on the log with 28 points after 15 matches, and did upset Orlando Pirates when the two sides met at the Orlando Stadium late last season, denting the title hope of the Soweto giants. The visiting coach, Pitso Mosimane, says they should repeat the show they did last year when they stole the maximum points in the dying minutes in Soweto last year May.
“We went to Pirates and beat them behind their backyard, and I don’t see anything stopping us from archiving that feat again. Orlando Pirates are a good side and we respect them, but I believe we have what it takes to upset them again,” the former SuperSport United coach said this week.
On Saturday earlier, Moroka Swallows host high-riding AmaZulu at the Dobsonville Stadium, kickoff at 15:30 CAT. The Dube Birds will hope to bounce back after going down 2-0 to rivals Kaizer Chiefs last week Friday, but they are aware that they will have to dig deep if they are to halt on-form Usuthu, who have collected 7 points out of possible 9 in their last three matches.
Greig Rosslee’ side are 3rd on the log with 27 points and five points over their opponents who are 8th on the standings. Another win for the Durban-based side will see them go back to second place and register double over the Soweto giants after beating Zeca Marques’s men 1-0 in reverse fixture.
Relegation-threatened Lamontville Golden Arrows are at home to Premiership rookies Polokwane City at the King Zwelethini Stadium in the afternoon. Abafan’Bes tende are rooted at the bottom of the log with ten points after 16 matches, and they are six points from safety.
Their opposition Polokwane City are also not safe regarding the drop as they languish in the 12th spot on log with 17 points, five points away from playoff place and seven points from automatic relegation. The Rise and Shine came close to starting the Year the best way but they threw away a two goal lead and let Platinum Stars to come back and force a draw in their last encounter.
On Sunday, Platinum Stars host struggling Free State Stars at home as Dikwena look regain their form and move up further on the standings. Allen Freese’ side have been inconsistent in the league run this season despite collecting two cups on offer so far. The Rustenburg-based club are 7th on the standings with 23 points after 15 matches, and they will become the favourite to win the tie after smashing Free State Stars 3-0 in the same venue earlier this season in the cup match.
Ea Lla Koto have been struggling this season, as they are placed 15th on the log, which is a playoff place with 13 points after 15 matches. The Qwa-Qwa based outfit have never won a match since November, but they will hope for better days to come after signing two striker in the recently closed transfer window with former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Richard Henyekane arriving alongside former Bidvest Wits lanky marksman Muhammad Zaid Patel.
University of Pretoria will hope to register their first win of 2014 when they travel to Free State to lock horns with Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon. AmaTuks lost both of their 2014 matches, and they are now flirting with the danger as they lie 11th on the standings with 17 points after 17 matches, and two points adrift of Siwelele who are 9th after 15 matches.
Ernest Middedorp’ side beat provincial rivals Free Sate Stars in the last outing and another win will see them move towards the top-half of the table, and gain a measure of a revenge after the Pretoria-based side scored two goals in first-half to win 2-0 in the reverse fixture.