Venue: Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg
Date: Saturday, November 21, 2020
This is a top-six clash in the early DSTV Premiership table and the winning team here will be in a great position to continue pressing the leaders as the campaign continues. The Orlando Pirates opened their season with consecutive draws, before breaking out of that cycle last time out with a 1-0 win away at Bloemfontein Celtic. The Pirates sit in sixth place on the log, level on points with both the fifth-placed Golden Arrows and the seventh-placed TS Galaxy FC. They are just one point behind their visitors on Saturday and two points off of the top of the table as no team was able to win its opening three games of the season.
SuperSport United are in fourth place on the log as the only team to win two and lose one of its opening three fixtures. They are one point behind the three-way log jam at the top – Sundowns/Baroka FC/Swallows FC – ad they boast home wins over Black Leopards (2:0) and Stellenbosch (1:0) sandwiching a 3:1 away defeat at the hands of Golden Arrows.
Historically this one trends towards SuperSport United. They have won 14 of the 31 matches played between the two sides, with Orlando Pirates sitting on nine wins in those games. The two games last season saw SuperSport United win 3-0 at the Mbombela Stadium, but the Orlando Pirates picking up some revenge with a 2-1 win at Ellis Park later on in the season.
The Orlando Pirates aren’t exactly the healthiest team in the league at this point. They will be missing the trio of Tshegofatso Mabasa, Bongani Sam, and Thembinkosi Lorch, with Lorch being an especially big miss as he has been in outstanding form so far this season. There is also a doubt over the availability of Frank Mhango as he hasn’t yet returned to the squad.
SuperSport United – on the other hand – will have almost a full squad for head coach Kaitano Tembo to pick from. The only player known to be missing through injury is Bradley Grobler, while Sipho Mbule and Siyabonga Nhlapo will both be back in contention to start. This is a timely boost for SuperSport as they will need all hands on deck if they want to upset the Orlando Pirates on their own patch. They will be looking to Teboho Mokoena to again be on the scoresheet after he scored the winner against Stellenbosch and also was the only SuperSport United player to net in the match against Golden Arrows.
While SuperSport will be full of confidence, their one DSTV Premiership away game this season did not go according to plan as they looked to be set up in too much of an attacking formation against the Golden Arrows. Add in that the Orlando pirates will still be buzzing from their emphatic 5:0 aggregate win over the Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 and a home win at 1.33 with BetXChange looks like the play here.