Arrows eager to shake off Pirates drubbing with win against Royal AM

ROYAL AM captain Samuel Manganyi returns for the side. | Archives

ROYAL AM captain Samuel Manganyi returns for the side. | Archives

Published Apr 20, 2024


LAMONTVILLE Golden Arrows will be eager to get back to winning ways as they welcome the visit of KwaZulu-Natal counterparts Royal AM.

The two teams will meet at the Mpumalanga Stadium today at 3pm, with hopes of securing valuable points at this stage of the season.

Abafana Besthende have had a two-week break since the last time they were in action and they will attempt to recover from a heavy defeat against Orlando Pirates.

The Lamontville-based outfit suffered their joint heaviest defeat in the club’s history at Orlando, forcing out the motivational expertise of head coach Steve Komphela in their short break.

Having overcome recent adversity in their 11-game losing streak, Komphela and co are expected to have enough personality and character to be able to perform at their best against Thwihli Thwahla.

The last time these two clubs met, John Maduka’s Royal AM handed Arrows their second defeat of the 11-game losing streak thanks to a second-minute strike by Menzi Masuku in Pietermaritzburg.

Despite their recent misfortunes, Arrows (ninth) are still in the mix for a potential top-eight place on the DStv Premiership standings with just a goal difference separating them from eighth-place Kaizer Chiefs.

Their next opponents as well have slotted themselves into the picture after having a difficult first round in the 2023/2024 campaign.

Royal AM currently hold 13th place on the league standings, but can overtake Arrows with a win, with just a two-point gap between the two teams ahead of the game.

However, Arrows will approach this game with a bit of confidence considering Royal AM’s away form in recent weeks.

Maduka and his men have lost four of their past five matches playing away from the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Returning Royal AM captain Samuel Manganyi will be a welcome addition to Maduka’s team, having seen his men concede nine goals in the past five games.

The towering centre-back had been out for five to six weeks with injury and his leadership and quality are sure to inspire positivity from the visitors.

The 36-year-old highlighted the importance of embracing the KZN derby occasion as well as collecting as many points as possible to achieve their objectives this season.

“We appreciated the time we got to prepare for this game because we were off last weekend and now we’re preparing for a derby game; playing a derby game is a whole different ball game, whether you’re in form or off-form,” said Manganyi

“It’s crucial for us because we’re towards the bottom of the log, we need to collect every point because all the games that follow this one are difficult so we need to start at the weekend to collect those points.”