Preview: Golden Arrows

Orlando Pirates travel down to Hammarsdale this weekend for a DStv Premiership clash against Lamontville Golden Arrows played at Mpumalanga Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Nearing the halfway mark of the ongoing league campaign, a maximum of nine points is on offer for each of the two sides ahead of the mid-season break brought on by the upcoming 2024 Africa Cup of Nations.

Form Guide 

They both head into Sunday’s fixture in the top half of the standings, with the hosts lower down in seventh place after enduring a rather steep drop in form over the past few weeks.

Arrows began the season as one of the early pace-setters, consistently featuring in the top three spots on the log, but have since gone on a four-match losing streak.

They have managed a mere three points in their last five outings, with their last victory dating back to late October when they snatched a home win over Kaizer Chiefs.

Now hosting another Soweto giant, Abafana Besthende will be on a mission to retain their spot in the top eight, with three points guaranteeing them a spot above the Buccaneers.

They will however have their work cut out against a resurgent Pirates outfit that has enjoyed a steady climb up the standings to fifth place after finding themselves near the basement through inconsistent results early on in their league campaign.

Jose Riveiro’s troops are currently unbeaten in their last five matches, collecting 13 out of a possible 15 points through four wins and a draw. 

After seeing off Moroka Swallows and TS Galaxy, they will be chasing a third consecutive victory which could propel them as high as second place with two fixtures remaining before the looming recess.

Team News 

Pirates will have the experience of Thabang Monare to call upon, as the midfielder returns from his red-card suspension.

There are further boosts on the injury front, with defenders Innocent Maela and Thabiso Monyane among those who have made significant progress after their respective spells on the sidelines.

Arrows, on the other hand, will have to go without the services of Bradley Cross, who serves a one-match ban after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season during their 2-0 defeat to Chippa United.

Key Players 

Miguel Timm (Orlando Pirates): The hard-working midfielder has delivered a string of sparkling performances in the middle of the park, and is fresh off yet another outstanding display. Timm has dominated midfield battles through excellent anticipation in defence, while also initiating attacks through his near-faultess passing.

Velemseni Ndwandwe (Golden Arrows): The 27-year-old has emerged as one of the leaders in the Arrows side, donning the captain’s armband on a few occasions this season. While also capable of operating in the wider areas up front, it has been in the heart of the midfield where Ndwandwe has added value in orchestrating play. 

Head-to-Head 

The Buccaneers have been the more dominant side in this fixture and will look to claim their third straight victory over Abafana Besthende after bagging a league double last season, netting five goals over the two fixtures while only conceding once.

Those two results took their tally to 19 wins in their last 36 games against the KwaZulu-Natal outfit, who have only emerged on the winning side six times since 2004 with 11 matches ending in a stalemate.

Arrows head into the fixture looking for their first win over Pirates since February 2021, when they netted two unanswered goals at home to clinch an upset victory.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Golden Arrows 

Kick-off is at 15:30 and the game will be televised live on SuperSport PSL. You can also follow the action by keeping an eye on live updates posted across Orlando Pirates social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

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