The DStv Premiership returns this weekend following the pause for international fixtures with the standout tie of the round taking place at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday as Orlando Pirates battle SuperSport United.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports.
After three games, Matsatsantsa sit in fourth position, a point above the Buccaneers who are placed sixth in the table.
Saturday 21 November – 18:00
To Win Match
Orlando Pirates 11/10 | Draw 21/10 | SuperSport United 5/2
It’s been an impressive start to the season for Josef Zinnbauer’s new-look Orlando Pirates team, having already booked their place in the MTN8 final and thrashing arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs en route to getting there.
While the Buccaneers will be confident of winning their first trophy in six seasons when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic on December 12, their ultimate goal will be to get their hands on the DStv Premiership.
The Soweto giants now have a squad strong enough to challenge on all fronts after bringing in the likes of Richard Ofori, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Deon Hotto, Wayde Jooste, Thabang Monare, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Collins Makgaka.
Zinnbauer’s side are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions stretching back into last season with seven wins, including three on the bounce, with the Bucs aiming to win four consecutive matches for the third time this year.
Pirates have beaten SuperSport in their last two meetings at the Orlando Stadium and they’ll be confident of claiming another victory in Soweto on Saturday as they aim to leapfrog the Tshwane outfit in the table.
The Buccaneers have confirmed that star midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch will be out for as much as five weeks with a knee injury he suffered in the 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic earlier this month. His loss is obviously a blow to the Bucs, especially with Gabadinho Mhango also out injured, but Zinnbauer has plenty of good attacking options.
Zakhele Lepasa has looked lively and caused defences problems while striker Tshegofatso Mabasa is reportedly back in full training.
While SuperSport United have won several cups in recent years, it’s been over a decade since they last lifted the PSL title and coach Kaitano Tembo will be desperate to end the club’s league trophy drought and win the first-ever DStv Premiership.
With defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns losing Pitso Mosimane – probably the best-ever coach in SA football history – and now in a rebuilding phase under new management, and last season’s runners-up Kaizer Chiefs very much in transition, Matsatsantsa might fancy their chances of topping the leaderboard come the season’s end.
However, their highest league finish since their last PSL glory in the 2009/10 campaign was third place in the 2011/12 season when they finished on 54 points, four behind then-champions Orlando Pirates. Since then, the Tshwane giants haven’t finished higher than fifth place, although they were title contenders for most of last season.
If Matsatsantsa are able to beat Zinnbauer’s new-look side at Orlando Stadium, they’ll be taken seriously as contenders for the league title this season, but their away form doesn’t bode well for their chances.
Tembo’s side have lost four of their last five away games in all competitions stretching back into last season. They lost 3-1 at Golden Arrows in the DStv Premiership last month and crashed out of the MTN8 with a 1-0 defeat at Bloemfontein Celtic last time out.
Verdict: Orlando Pirates (11/10)
Pirates have started the season brightly and look more dangerous every week. SuperSport haven’t convinced me yet therefore I’m backing Zinnbauer’s side to extend their winning streak.
Written by Chad Nagel for Hollywoodbets.