JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United will renew their rivalry tomorrow evening (kickoff 8.15pm) when they meet in an Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium.
So far in the league, the two teams have had contrasting fortunes, as Pirates have won and lost twice, while drawing once. SuperSport, on the other hand, have bagged three victories and lost once. We look at three elements that could define this needle encounter.
There can be no denying that both these teams have the best strikers at their disposal. But, it has been the Pretoria side who have shone brightly in front of goal so far under the guidance of coach Kaitano Tembo. Bradley Grobler and Evans Rusike are arguably the deadliest pair in top-flight football at the moment; as a result, they’ve led Matsatsantsa A Pitori to the MTN8 final.
Meanwhile, in the Bucs’ camp, not everything is rosy as finishing specialist Stephane Adam is yet to earn his money. Pirates’ forwards have been spectacularly blunt, the club scoring to the extent that their last win came courtesy of an own goal by the opposition..
The Sea Robbers haven’t beaten SuperSport in the last 10 meetings. And, the Tshwane-based team were responsible for eliminating the Soweto giants from this year’s MTN8 contest during the quarter-finals at home last month. Pirates’ form has since been in shambles as they went on to only manage six points out of a possible 12. After managing to collect all points against Black Leopards, albeit via the help of an own goal, in their last encounter before the international break, they’ll be hoping to continue with the momentum against their bogey side - SuperSport.
Pirates are in the same situation that SuperSport were in a season ago. They must pursue honours after a season of revamp. But their disappointing start to the league could come back to haunt them as playing catch-up can be very hard. It didn’t work for SuperSport who found themselves flirting with relegation until the last day of the campaign. The tables have turned, and it’s SuperSport’s turn to reconstruct, and so far they are on track as they reached a third final in 12 months. Although there’s still time before the MTN8 final, at Moses Mabhida Stadium on September 29 against Cape Town City, getting all the spoils against Bucs will be a big confidence booster.