17 March, 2023
Orlando Pirates return to league football with a mammoth clash against SuperSport United, held at Orlando Stadium this Saturday.
It’s all to play for in the DStv Premiership, with the two sides among the hopefuls in the race for spots in African club competition next season.
Five league points separate the two sides in the standings with the visitors sitting in second place, one spot above the home side, who are looking to close the gap with eight games remaining in the campaign.
The Buccaneers excelled in their last Premiership assignment, beating Soweto rivals Swallows 4-1 before edging a marathon cup encounter with Championship outfit Venda Football Academy over the weekend.
Their recent league form has however been a mixed bag, with three wins claimed in their last five games, where they have also fallen to two defeats.
They now take on a side which has bagged an equal number of wins over the same period, but without losing a game.
United’s recent record is only blemished by a shock cup defeat to the Bucs’ next Nedbank Cup opponents Dondol Stars, who claimed a 2-1 win in their Round of 32 encounter.
The upset has however not affected their league form, as they claimed seven out of an available nine points in their three games since.
The Buccaneers will be boosted by the possible return of captain Innocent Maela, who has served a two-match suspension and is back at full training after sustaining a foot injury.
Along with the likes of midfielder Thabang Monare and goalkeeper Richard Ofori, the skipper is one of a few players to have made significant strides on the injury front after a spell on the sidelines.
Matsatsansa will also welcome back two key players in striker Bradley Grobler and veteran defender Onismor Bhasera, both back from serving a one-match ban after each had accumulated four yellow cards throughout the season.
They do however have a few injury worries, with defender Luke Fleurs unlikely to feature on Saturday, having last made a league appearance for the club in January.
Monnapule Saleng (Orlando Pirates): The Bucs midfielder continues to enjoy a dream season, and will be eager to make his mark in what’s arguably the weekend’s most highly-anticipated fixture. Saleng has been both a goal threat and a key creator for the Soweto Giants, with eight goals and four assists bagged in the Dstv Premiership so far, including a sensational hat-trick netted in his most recent league appearance.
Bradley Grobler (SuperSport United): The veteran attacker is again in the race for the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot, with nine goals scored so far. After United’s last fixture through suspension, Grobler will look to pick up where he left off, having found the net in each of his last two games.
The two Gauteng rivals played to a goalless draw when they met at Lucas Moripe Stadium earlier in the season, producing their first such result in this fixture since April 2018.
In the seasons since, Pirates have held a slight edge over United, winning four of their last eight clashes and losing three times.
The visitors will also be looking to break their Orlando Stadium hoodoo, having gone nine years since they last defeated the Buccaneers in their own backyard.
How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs SuperSport United
The fixture is scheduled to kick off at 17:45, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL.
Live updates will be available on social media across every Orlando Pirates platform.
Tickets to attend the match are available online at TicketPro and selected retail outlets, as well as at the Orlando East Community Hall on Saturday four hours before kick-off.