MTN8 Quarterfinal Preview: Sekhukhune United

Orlando Pirates kick off their MTN8 title defence this weekend as they host Sekhukhune United in their quarterfinal clash played at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.

Almost three months after the two sides engaged in a thrilling cup final in what was their last fixture of the previous season, they are set to lock horns once more in the opening round of the current campaign’s first cup competition.

Form Guide

Less than a week has commenced since the start of the new season, and the two sides have each taken to the field twice already, with similar returns.

The Buccaneers bounced back in midweek after a disappointing result in their season opener as they churned out a dominant performance on home turf to walk away 4-2 winners in their league clash against Royal AM.

The result brought them up from near the bottom to the top half of the DStv Premiership table, where they currently reside in sixth place with two games played.

As the focus now shifts to the defence of the first of two titles clinched during the 2022/23 campaign, they face off against a Sekhukhune side fresh off a victory of their own in their most recent league outing.

The team from Limpopo is currently one spot below the Soweto Giants in the league standings after getting off the mark with a 2-0 win against the newly-promoted Cape Town Spurs on Wednesday.

They had opened their campaign with a 2-1 defeat at home to Mamelodi Sundowns, and will be determined to continue their away form in what is a must-win game for both sides at Orlando Stadium.

Team News

Pirates have had a few minor injury worries early in the season, with key players such as Miguel Timm and Thembinkosi Lorch yet to feature this season, while new signing Katlego Otladisa sat out the home clash against Royal AM due to a knock picked up in the season opener.

The trio is among those that could resume full training in the coming days, while the likes of Lesedi Kapinga and Karim Kamvuidi are inching closer to their respective Bucs debuts.

Meanwhile, Sekhukhune have a key player of their own ruled out as forward Vusimuzi Mncube serves out the last match in his red-card suspension after being given his marching orders 16 minutes into the start of his side’s league campaign.

Key Players 

Zakhele Lepasa (Orlando Pirates): Fresh off a brace against Royal AM, the Bucs striker will be eager to further cement his spot in the starting lineup amid intense competition up front within the squad. Lepasa’s appetite for goal is matched by his high work rate on and off the ball, making the 26-year-old a tough player to contend with for opposition players.

Elias Mokwana (Sekhukhune United): Mokwana has been a true livewire on the flank for Sekhukhune, owing to his ability to ignite a spark in crucial moments. Following his breakthrough in the previous season, the in-form winger has been his side’s standout player, displaying impressive ball control and a knack for crafting goal-scoring opportunities.

Head-to-Head 

This will only be the second cup clash between these two sides, with the other one being the Nedbank Cup final showdown which took place less than three months ago. It was the Buccaneers who emerged victorious on that occasion, claiming a dramatic 2-1 victory to walk away with the title.

Overall, Pirates have played Sekhukhune a total of five times, winning on three occasions and suffering a solitary defeat, which occurred during the early part of the 2022/23 league campaign.

The two sides have scored a combined 10 goals since their first clash in November 2021, with the Buccaneers accounting for six, while Babina Noko have found the net four times.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Sekhukhune United 

The game is scheduled to kick off at 18:00 and will be televised live on SuperSport PSL. Orlando Pirates will also provide regular updates shared across the Club’s social media platforms, including the official app.

Tickets to attend the fixture are available at TicketPro outlets nationwide.

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