Nedbank Cup Preview: Venda Football Academy

Orlando Pirates return to cup action with a Nedbank Cup Round of 16 clash against Venda Football Academy at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The search for a ninth title in this prestigious competition continues for the hosts, who are up against a lower league side for the second time in this year’s tournament.

Form Guide 

They go into the clash having won three out of their last five games in all competitions – a stretch of results which includes their 2-0 victory over All Stars in the Round of 32.

The Buccaneers will have been buoyed by the outcome of their most recent outing, where they routed their oldest rivals Swallows 4-1 in an away league fixture.

With focus now fixed on advancing to the last eight of the Nedbank Cup, the Soweto Giants now face a tricky proposition in a Venda outfit determined to emulate the giant-killing feats the tournament has been known to dish up over the years.

The men from Limpopo managed to come away with a league point on the road in their last outing as they held the University of Pretoria to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

They overcame third tier outfit FC BlackCross to advance to the Round of 16, but have since claimed one win in their last five games, losing twice and drawing as many games.

Team News

The Buccaneers will be without suspended skipper Innocent Maela, who sits out the second game of his two-match ban, while Nkosinathi Sibisi is eligible for selection after a one-match suspension caused him to miss the game against Swallows.

Several players are on the mend after picking up injuries, with the likes of Thabang Monare and Goodman Mosele expected to return to the field of play in the coming weeks.

The hosts do have a welcome boost on the injury front in goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who is back in full training after being sidelined since November.

Players to Watch 

Former AmaZulu and Chippa United striker Rhulani Manzini brings a wealth of experience to the side, and is currently in good nick having netted a total of seven goals this year alone, including a brace in the previous round of the Nedbank Cup.

Venda also boast the midfield talents of Athini Jodwana – who has also featured for Chippa – as well as former Kaizer Chiefs wide man Edmore Chirambadare, while goalkeeper Harold Ndlovu is a solid presence between the poles.

Head-to-Head 

It will be a historic occasion at Orlando Stadium, with the two sides facing off for the first time in competitive football.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Venda Football Academy 

The game kicks off at 20:00 and will be televised live on SuperSport PSL. Orlando Pirates will provide live updates, posted across the Club’s social media platforms including the app.

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.
 

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