27 January, 2023
Orlando Pirates travel to Rustenburg this Saturday for a DStv Premiership clash against Marumo Gallants held at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
It’s a change of scenery for the Buccaneers who played their last two fixtures at home, enjoying some success before having to take to the road once more.
Home ground advantage has yielded maximum points for the Soweto Giants, with an impressive seven goals scored in their two most recent outings while only conceding twice.
This propelled them to fourth in the league standings, turning around a difficult spell that saw them losing three in a row with two of those defeats coming away from home.
A win on Saturday could potentially bump Pirates a spot higher up the table, but they will have to contend against a Gallants side desperate to claw their way up from the bottom.
The home side is still in search of their first win of the new year, having collected just two points in seven games played since the end of the FIFA break.
With 11 games to play until the end of the season, Gallants will look to do all it takes to grab a vital three points that could see them escaping the red zone.
Having kicked off the year with a few of their stars sidelined, the Buccaneers have made some strides on the injury front with the likes of Richard Ofori and Thembinkosi Lorch now back in training.
Midfielder Miguel Timm is another player on his way back after missing out of last Sunday’s game against Stellenbosch, while new recruit Souaibou Marou edges closer to his Bucs debut after completing his first full week of training with his new teammates.
Gallants on the other hand will be without defender Sibusiso Khumalo, who is serving out a red-card suspension after being sent off during his side’s defeat to Richards Bay.
Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates): The Bucs skipper continues to enjoy a welcome revival, and his confidence will be sky high after netting his first goal of the season in the 4-1 win at home to Stellenbosch on Sunday. Maela’s versatility makes him a livewire on either end of the pitch, capable of making smart runs on the overlap as well as snuff out attacks from the opposition.
Celimpilo Ngema (Marumo Gallants): In what has so far been a tough season for the Limpopo-based outfit, Ngema has emerged as one of the standout players in the Club’s colours, contributing important goals and assists throughout the campaign. Having found the net in a losing cause over the weekend, the attacking midfielder will hope his influence sees his side over the line against the Buccaneers.
Pirates will be looking to make it three wins in a row as well as complete a double over Gallants, who are yet to defeat them in the league since their first meeting in August 2021.
Both the Soweto Giants’ victories in this fixture have come at Orlando Stadium, with Bahlabane Ba Ntwa yet to suffer defeat at home.
In the short rivalry, Saturday’s hosts have had some joy against the Buccaneers as they eliminated them from the 2021/22 Nedbank Cup via a penalty shootout in the Round of 16.
How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Marumo Gallants
The fixture is scheduled to kick off at 20:00, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL.
Live updates will be available on social media across every Orlando Pirates platform.