MTN 8 Preview: Mamelodi Sundowns

21 October, 2022

It’s do-or-die in Polokwane this weekend as Orlando Pirates face Mamelodi Sundowns in the second leg of their MTN 8 Semifinal tie at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the first leg at Orlando Stadium, which ended goalless, and the Buccaneers will travel knowing that a win on the road keeps them on the hunt for a tenth title in Top-Eight competition.

Form Guide 

They approach the fixture on a high after scooping a morale boosting 2-0 win away to Golden Arrows on Tuesday, which was their first victory since the beginning of the month.

The result brought to an end a winless streak that had stretched to four games in all competitions, where the Soweto Giants managed three draws and a defeat.

Having seen off Royal AM in the first round of the MTN 8, they now have their sights set on the defending champions, who also come off a positive result of their own in their midweek excursions.

Sundowns overcame a stubborn Marumo Gallants in their last outing, winning 1-0 at home through a first-half strike from Siphelele Mkhulise.

In the process, they claimed a third successive victory in a run also consisting of two convincing wins in the CAF Champions League.

Team News

Several key players are likely to be unavailable for both clubs on the day of the encounter, having been sidelined in recent weeks.

For the Buccaneers, Vincent Pule, Thembinkosi Lorch and Goodman Mosele are among those who have not had any minutes on the field during the last couple of games, and are doubtful for the clash alongside Richard Ofori and Bandile Shandu, who have both recently picked up knocks.

Sundowns, on the other hand, have Brian Onyango, Terrence Mashego and Mothobi Mvala in their list of players nursing long-term injuries, and they have recently been joined by star striker Peter Shalulile, who sat out the midweek win over Marumo Gallants.

Key Players

Kermit Erasmus (Orlando Pirates): The Bucs striker has made an immediate impact since returning to the Club, with a hand in all three goals scored in the two games he has started. The 32-year-old is an undeniable goal-scoring threat and commands attention from the defence, which can create opportunities for those running off him.

Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns): Playing at home in a must-win encounter, Sundowns could ditch the cautious approach for more adventure, and the veteran forward is likely to be a focal point on attack. Zwane’s trickery on the wing could keep the defence on its toes, along with his ability to pop up in goal-scoring positions.

Head-to-Head 

Sundowns have had the upper hand over Pirates in recent years, winning five of their last six encounters across competitions.

The Buccaneers do however have a historic advantage of their own in this fixture, having emerged victorious in both their previous MTN 8 semifinal clashes with the Brazilians, beating them in 2000 and again in 2011 and going on to lift the trophy on both occasions.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Mamelodi Sundowns 

The much-anticipated fixture kicks off at 15:30 and will be televised live on SuperSport PSL and SABC Sport. Tickets for the match are on sale at Ticketpro.

You can also follow the action by keeping an eye on live updates provided across Orlando Pirates social media platforms.




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