Preview: Moroka Swallows

Orlando Pirates kick off the new month with a trip across Soweto for a clash against their oldest rivals Moroka Swallows in another crucial DStv Premiership encounter on Wednesday night.

The upcoming edition of the iconic Original Derby takes place at Dobsonville Stadium, and it’s the second of back-to-back assignments on the road for the Buccaneers. 

Form Guide 

Their previous venture into rival turf yielded their first defeat of 2024 as they lost 2-1 to Sekhukhune United in a match played at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday. The result ended a two-match winning run across competitions and saw them drop from second to fourth place.

Pirates have collected eight points in their last five games in the Premiership, with six of those coming courtesy of wins against Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs. Over this period, they have found the net just seven times, while conceding six goals. 

The upcoming midweek fixture presents an opportunity to initiate a consistent run of results, which will be crucial in determining where they finish as the end of the season looms.

Looking to throw a spanner in the works is a Swallows outfit desperate to gain some momentum of their own, following a positive result in their last fixture.

The Birds ended a four-match winless run in the league with a dramatic 1-0 win away to Cape Town Spurs, with the three points earned in the game taking their tally to five in their last five outings where they have been beaten twice and played to as many stalemates. The solitary strike in their most recent match was only their third during this period, while their defence has been breached six times.

Having jumped one spot to 13th place in the league standings, Swallows head into their match against Pirates looking to string results together in a bid to continue working their way up from the bottom half of the table.

Team News 

The quick turnaround between fixtures could prompt both coaches to refresh their lineups following demanding assignments on the road for the two camps.

Nkosinathi Sibisi, Tapelo Xoki, Thabang Monare, and Patrick Maswanganyi are some of the names that could be back in the matchday squad for Pirates after sitting out the match at Peter Mokaba Stadium following their recent Bafana call-ups.

Meanwhile, Swallows will be without striker Gabadinho Mhango who is ruled out following yellow-card suspension. Coach Musa Nyatama could re-integrate the likes of Thabang Maponya and Letsie Koapeng, both unused subs in the game against Spurs.

Key Players 

Deon Hotto (Orlando Pirates): The 33-year-old has been a consistent performer for the Buccaneers this season, ceaselessly impacting both ends of the pitch. Through his tireless energy on the flank, Hotto has been especially effective on attack and boasts six assists in all competitions including one in each of his last two games.

Daniel Akpeyi (Moroka Swallows): The veteran goalkeeper’s quality and experience have shone through amid a tough season endured by the Birds. A commanding presence in the penalty area, the former Nigerian international will be key for his side’s chances against a determined Bucs outfit.

Head-to-Head 

Pirates were triumphant in the last Original Derby, winning 2-0 through a first-half strike from Evidence Makgopa and a Sipho Sibiya own goal late in the league clash played at Orlando Stadium earlier in the season.

Completing a league double on Wednesday will extend their winning streak in the iconic fixture to four games, while Swallows remain on the hunt for their first league win against their rivals since the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

Since the Birds’ return to the top flight in 2020, the Buccaneers have been by far the more dominant side, winning four of the seven matches played with the other three ending in a share of the spoils.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Moroka Swallows 

The game starts at 19:30 and will be televised live on SuperSport PSL. Live updates will be provided across Orlando Pirates’ social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

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