Durban- Orlando Pirates' upcoming classical Soweto derby against Swallows FC will be vital for them. A win for the Sea Robbers could potentially lift them back to second place in the standings.
Pirates’ most recent win over TS Galaxy saw them jump from seventh to second in the standings. However, they have since relinquished second spot to Kaizer Chiefs who recorded a 2-0 win over Sekhukhune United on Sunday.
Pirates are currently unbeaten in six games and the confidence that they gained from the win over Galaxy will make them aim for nothing less than a win against relegation-threatened Swallows.
Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids believes that his team is finally starting to get rewarded for their good performances.
“We have been having good performances without getting three points. The frustration can creep in when you are performing so well, creating chances but not putting them away and only getting one point. There has not been a game where we have been outplayed. We are always dominating and creating more chances than the opponents,” said Davids.
One player who has started to hit the ground running lately for Pirates is Bandile Shandu. The KwaZulu Natal-born player scored in the victory over Galaxy and is becoming a key figure for the club.
Davids is more familiar with the ex-Maritzburg College student more than anyone else at Pirates given that the two also previously worked together at Maritzburg United.
“It’s his second for the season.”— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) December 11, 2021
“It’s the second for Pirates.”
Amabhakaniya are in pole position for all three points at Orlando Stadium ☠
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“He’s fitted in well. He’s fitted into having some familiar players around him but also being able to fit into our high-intensity style. That suits him quite well,” Davids said.
“He’s quite smart in being able to understand the tactical instructions in terms of how we are. Trying to unlock the defensive line, when he has to drop and when he has to make runs in behind. We are happy with his progress but there is still room for improvement. We hope he can stay grounded and reach his full potential because there is more to come.”
Swallows have so far scored just five goals this season which is the fewest out of any club in the top-flight. A surprise victory for the Dube Birds can help them navigate themselves further away from the relegation zone.
Pirates won the reverse fixture 1-0 in September. Swallows can however take confidence from the fact that they did beat Pirates 2-1 in the MTN 8 quarter-finals back in August.