Nedbank Cup Preview: Hungry Lions

Orlando Pirates brace for another home outing this weekend when they host Hungry Lions in their Nedbank Cup Round of 16 clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

For the first time in their title defence, the Soweto Giants will be on home turf where they face a potential banana peel in the Northern Cape outfit currently competing in the ABC Motsepe Championship.

Form Guide 

Affectionately known as “Ditau”, the visitors marched to the Last 16 after knocking out fellow championship outfit JDR Stars in the opening round, where they netted in extra time to bag a 1-0 win.

Since their triumph, they have taken to the field twice in the league, securing a comfortable win away to Milford FC before falling to a dramatic defeat in their last match on the road against the University of Pretoria.

Hungry Lions have had a mixed bag of results in their last five games across competitions, winning twice and losing as many games, while also claiming a league point through a stalemate against provincial rivals Upington City.

They now set off on a hunt for their biggest scalp yet in the form of the Buccaneers, who are fresh off a morale-boosting Soweto Derby triumph.

Jose Riveiro’s troops climbed to second spot in the DStv Premiership standings, following their 3-2 win against rivals Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium last Saturday.

In doing so, they maintained their unbeaten run in 2024 where they have won three matches and drawn twice across league and cup football while scoring 12 goals and only conceding five.

Having cantered past the opening round of the Nedbank Cup with a comfortable 6-0 win against Crystal Lake, they will look to book their spot in the quarterfinals with a commanding performance on Saturday.

Team News 

Bucs goalkeeper Sipho Chaine is unavailable for selection, having been granted compassionate leave by the Club following the passing of his mother.

The hosts are also likely to be without Evidence Makgopa, who missed the Buccaneers’ last two games due to injury. The striker joins Bandile Shandu and Paseka Mako as they make their way back to full fitness after lengthy absences.

Another player set to sit things out on Saturday is January signing, Thabiso Lebitso following his yellow card picked up during the derby. The caution was his fourth of the season, triggering a one-match suspension.

Key Players 

Tshegofatso Mabasa (Orlando Pirates): The striker made a goal-scoring return to the Buccaneers following a loan stint, and has another opportunity to further cement his spot up front. Possessing excellent aerial ability and a deadly left foot, Mabasa has seven goals and an assist across competitions this season and will be eager to add more to his tally.

Raymond Daniels (Hungry Lions): Daniels has been among the standout players in the Championship this season, and will hope to carry his impressive form into what is a tough assignment at Orlando Stadium. The attacker has been key for Ditau throughout the campaign, chipping in with eight league goals to sit among the front runners in the race for the golden boot.

Head-to-Head

Saturday’s Nedbank Cup fixture will be the first-ever encounter between the two sides at senior level.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Hungry Lions 

The game kicks off at 18:00 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 match are available on TicketPro online and in selected outlets nationwide.

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