Preview: Stellenbosch FC

Orlando Pirates are in DStv Premiership action for one last time in 2023 as they close out the year by hosting Stellenbosch at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

It’s a clash between two well-acquainted sides, with the men from the Cape Winelands making the trip to Soweto for a game against the Buccaneers for the second time this season.

Form Guide 

The visitors will be taking to the field for the first time in nearly two weeks, having last done so in their triumphant cup final outing against TS Galaxy.    

They head into the fixture as one of the in-form sides in the league, with their last defeat in all competitions dating back to September when they lost 3-1 away to Mamelodi Sundowns. Since then, they have only failed to emerge on the winning side just once in 10 matches, claiming 13 out of a possible 15 points in their last five league games.

Now fifth in the standings with a game in hand, Stellies look to add another three points to their tally against a Pirates side currently placed the spot directly above them, with only two points separating the two sides.

The hosts are however coming off a disappointing outing on the road after falling to a 3-1 defeat against SuperSport United in Polokwane. The result ended a six-match unbeaten run, preventing them from ascending to second place.

With 10 points earned in their last five league games, the Soweto Giants will be looking to end the year on a high by bagging the three points that will once again steer them upwards.

Team News 

After welcoming defender Innocent Maela back from injury over the weekend, a return to the pitch is imminent for more Bucs stars, with goalkeeper Sipho Chaine and forward Azola Matrose among those back in training after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

The home side will also be bolstered by the return of midfielder Patrick Maswanganyi, who is back in contention for a spot in the match-day squad after completing a one-match suspension.

Stellies will, on the other hand, be without fullback Fawaz Basadien who is serving a two-match ban after picking up a red card.

Key Players

Deon Hotto (Orlando Pirates): The Namibian international has tormented Stellenbosch in the past, and already boasts four goals against them in Pirates colours. Now mainly operating at left-back, Hotto has found a vast outlet for his energy and creativity, making an impact on both ends of the field.

Darrell Matsheke (Stellenbosch): One of the newer additions to The Maroons’ squad, Matsheke has seamlessly slotted into the midfield where he has commanded a regular starting place. Tireless pressing ability and excellent vision have been a feature of the 24-year-old’s high-intensity displays, and he will be eager to put on yet another eye-catching performance on Friday. 

Head-to-Head

Just halfway through the season, the two sides will be meeting for the fourth time after locking horns in the opening match of the current league campaign and over two legs of the MTN8 semis.

It was Stellies who triumphed in the league opener played at Danie Craven Stadium, but the Buccaneers had their revenge with a 2-1 victory in the away leg of the semifinal tie, which played a big part in securing a spot in the final, despite a 1-0 loss at home.

Overall, Pirates still maintain an upper hand over Stellenbosch with six wins and three defeats in all competitions, while four of their encounters have failed to produce a winner.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Stellenbosch

The game kicks off at 20:00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL. You can stay in touch with the action as it happens by following live updates posted across Orlando Pirates’ social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

Tickets to attend the game are available online at TicketPro as well as selected outlets nationwide.

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