Preview: TS Galaxy

A tricky assignment awaits Orlando Pirates this weekend as they travel to Mbombela for Saturday’s DStv Premiership clash against TS Galaxy.

Following a week on home turf, the Soweto Giants take to the road one last time in the 2023/24 league campaign in search of a crucial three-point haul.

Form Guide

They make their way to Mpumalanga on the back of a rare defeat at Orlando Stadium, where they lost 1-0 to Richards Bay last Saturday. It was their first home loss in 2024, ending a streak of five league victories and seven wins in all competitions.

The result also saw them miss the opportunity to leapfrog Stellenbosch into second place, with a solitary point currently separating the two sides with two games remaining in their two-way race for CAF Champions League qualification.

Their trip to Mbombela follows a significant upturn in away form over the past month, with four of their seven wins in league and cup competition collected on the road.

Pirates however face a challenging hurdle in the Rockets, who will be relishing the return to familiar territory following the 1-1 stalemate away to Cape Town City which concluded a busy two weeks worth of travelling. Their travels have seen them take to the field four times, losing to Mamelodi Sundowns before collecting a point in each of the three games that have followed.

Having exited the Nedbank Cup in the last eight, Galaxy’s five most recent fixtures have been in the league, where they have notched up a disappointing six points to take up fifth place in the standings.

Their solitary home game during this period yielded their only win, which came against the Buccaneers’ rivals Moroka Swallows, and they will be looking to add another Soweto scalp to their tally with three points moving them up a spot to fourth place.

Team News

Thalente Mbatha returns to add to coach Jose Riveiro’s options in the midfield, following his absence from the team that faced Richards Bay. The 24-year-old is again eligible for selection having served his one-match suspension.

The Buccaneers could soon be bolstered further by the return of Deon Hotto, who continues his recovery after picking up a knock in the Nedbank Cup semifinal triumph over Chippa United.

For the Rockets, coach Sead Ramovic could shuffle his pack with the likes of Lindokuhle Mbatha and Orebotse Mongae expected back after missing the trip to Cape Town.

Key Players

Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates): The midfielder has been one of the most enterprising players in the top flight and continues to enjoy a dream first season in Bucs colours. Through an uncanny ability to spark scoring opportunities from various parts of the pitch, Maswanganyi has had a hand in 21 goals across competitions and will be looking to add to his tally against the Rockets.

Samir Nurkovic (TS Galaxy): Often used as a super-sub, Nurkovic has been a key impact player for the Rockets throughout the campaign. The Serb currently sits on 10 goals in all competition, and will savour the opportunity to get on the scoresheet against the Buccaneers.

Head-to-Head

Pirates have won each of their last three league games against Galaxy, including the reverse fixture played at Orlando Stadium in December. On that occasion, Deon Hotto’s 25th minute strike was all that was required for the Soweto Giants to notch up maximum points following a tightly-contested 90 minutes of football.

The Rockets’ last win over the Buccaneers dates back to the backend of the 2021/22 campaign when they registered a 1-0 win at home through a first-half goal scored by Lifa Hlongwane.

Overall, the two sides have met seven times in the Premiership with the Soweto Giants emerging victorious on four occasions and losing twice. Both their defeats have come in Mbombela, where they boast just one win in their three league visits.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs TS Galaxy

The game is scheduled to kick off at 15:00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL. You can follow the action by keeping an eye out for live updates posted across Orlando Pirates social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

Share the Post: