Carling Knockout Preview: Cape Town Spurs

Orlando Pirates resume action with another cup clash on Friday night as they welcome Cape Town Spurs for a Round of 16 fixture in the newly-launched Carling Black Label Knockout at Orlando Stadium.

The end of the October international break marks the start of another competition in the South African football scene, with the Buccaneers on a bid to claim a second trophy inside the opening half of the 2023/24 season.

Form Guide 

It begins with a clash against the men from the Cape, who will be hoping that the switch to cup football represents a change in fortunes after a nightmarish start to their league campaign.

On their return to the top flight, Spurs have lost eight in eight despite finding the net in five of their last six outings. As a result, they currently occupy the bottom of the league table with five goals scored and 17 conceded.

They made changes to their technical team prior to the FIFA break and will have spent the two-week period since their last fixture fine-tuning in the hopes of causing an upset at Orlando Stadium.

The Urban Warriors however face a stiff test against the Soweto Giants who go into the clash fresh off collecting their third consecutive domestic cup title, adding another MTN8 trophy to their collection.

This came amid a busy period brought on by their involvement in three different competitions which has limited their league campaign to just five games so far, where they have claimed two wins and a draw with two defeats to their name.

The Buccaneers were eliminated from the CAF Champions League in the Second Preliminary Round, but victories in the MTN8 over Sekhukhune United and Stellenbosch booked them a final against Sundowns, where they triumphed on penalties to successfully defend their title.

Four rounds of the Carling Knockout now stand between them and back-to-back cup doubles, starting with the clash against what will be a determined Spurs outfit.

Team News

The hosts have had to navigate their preparations without five of their First Team players, who have linked up with the rest of the squad days before the clash after being called up for international duty.

There are also some injury worries in the camp,  with captain Innocent Maela and striker Zakhele Lepasa among those currently on the mend.

Spurs, on the other hand, look set to continue without on-loan Bucs striker Boitumelo Radiopane, who has been sidelined by injury since the start of the season.

Key Players

Miguel Timm (Orlando Pirates): The experienced midfielder has quickly hit his stride in the new season after a minor injury setback and again displays the form that turned him into a crowd favourite. Timm was among the standout players in the MTN8 final, disrupting the opposition’s attacks through excellent positioning, and could be a key factor in yet another must-win outing.

Ashley Cupido (Cape Town Spurs): Cupido’s electric pace and accuracy in front of goal were instrumental in securing promotion for Spurs, and the young forward will be keen to make a mark in the top flight. Mainly used on the wings in the current campaign, the 22-year-old will head into the game full of confidence after featuring on the scoresheet in each of his last two starts.

Head-to-Head

Pirates and Spurs cross paths for the first time since meeting in the opening round of the Nedbank Cup back in February 2018.  On that occasion, it was the Buccaneers who prevailed, netting two unanswered goals to progress to the next round.

The two sides had met twice in the league prior to that, bagging a win apiece with the home sides in each of the two games prevailing.

In the five seasons preceding the Urban Warriors’ relegation from the top flight, the Soweto Giants had only lost once against the Cape outfit while emerging victorious six times in 11 games across competitions.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Cape Town Spurs 

The game kicks off at 19:30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL. Live updates will be posted across Orlando Pirates social media platforms as well as the Club’s official mobile app throughout the duration of the match.

Tickets are available online on TicketPro and selected outlets.

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