Orlando Pirates need to find consistency for sustained title challenge
DURBAN - Orlando Pirates let their fans down in losing 2-0 to lowly Black Leopards. The defeat has added pressure on the Buccaneers to win when they tackle razor-sharp Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto this afternoon.
A win for Pirates will see them overtake fourth-placed Arrows in the standings but the Sea Robbers need to find consistency if they want to challenge for the title this season.
Abafana Bes'thende are no walkovers and, in fact, Mandla Ncikazi's side has been a surprise package so far this season along with newly-promoted Moroka Swallows. The KwaZulu-Natal outfit is yet to lose a game this season and enters the match having won three out of their last five games.
Swallows will be going all out to secure all three points against Chippa United at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
The Chilli Boys have been struggling in the league this season and have won just one out of their last five games. A win for Swallows will allow them to continue to exert pressure on leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
Whilst it remains to be seen if Brandon Truter's side will manage to maintain their current level of consistency, they do have an advantage over Sundowns in that they will not have to split their focus like Downs do with their CAF Champions League responsibilities.
Benni McCarthy's AmaZulu side travel to the Lucas Moripe Stadium to play against SuperSport United. Whilst Usuthu has been playing positive football since McCarthy succeeded Ayanda Dlamini as their coach, they have shown a lack of finesse in front of goal in their last three matches. And this is a source of consternation for McCarthy.
Had AmaZulu taken their chances better, they could have easily beaten Maritzburg United in the KZN derby last weekend but instead had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate.
One of the positives that Usuthu can take from the KZN derby is that it saw the talismanic Bongi Ntuli return to the field as a second half substitute. Ntuli played a crucial role in helping the club avoid relegation last season as he fired in 13 goals.
SuperSport are also a side that is in good form and they are unbeaten in their last seven games, which has left them just two points behind leaders Sundowns.
Bradley Grobler became the club's record all-time goal scorer when he netted his 58th goal in United's colours in their 2-1 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic last Wednesday.
Grobler and Tokelo Ranti have proven to have good chemistry upfront for Matsantsantsa a Pitori and this is something which AmaZulu need to be wary of.
Cape Town City will be looking to regain confidence and form as they travel to face off against Black Leopards at the Thohoyandou Stadium. The Citizens have lost two out of their last three games and visit Lidoda Duvha on the back of a 2-1 loss to Kaizer Chiefs.
Whilst Leopards are perennial strugglers, City cannot afford to underestimate them given that they are entering the match on the back of that shock 2-0 victory over Pirates.