PSL 2019-20: SuperSport United vs. Orlando Pirates
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela
Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
The Pirates were one of the most impressive teams in the competition on the opening Saturday as they beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-1 at home. It was a win that can best be described as comfortable, with the Sea Robbers actually having more value than the scoreline would suggest as they missed some gilt-edged chances to win by more goals.
While that game was impressive, the Pirates would have been much less happy with the outcome of their other competitive game over the last couple of weeks. In their CAF Champions League qualifying round tie against Green Eagles of Zambia, they failed to find the target in a 1-0 defeat. It is a game. though, that the team will learn from moving forward.
SuperSport United will also be looking to learn from their mistakes after their opening round of the PSL season clash with the Mamelodi Sundowns failed to go their way. The 2-0 defeat at the hands of the reigning champions was one that most saw coming, but a defeat is a defeat none the less.
One player certainly ready to take the pitch for Wednesday evening’s game is Thamsanga Gabuza. Gabuza spent the last six seasons with the Pirates before moving to SuperSport United and the striker will certainly be looking to score a goal against his former team. Gabuza came off of the bench in United’s opener and he will hope he has done enough on the training paddock to force his way into the starting side against his ex-employer.
Gabuza has stoked the fire a little in the build-up to this match, letting it be known that if he is able to bag a goal he will not be shy in celebrating the moment.
United will be without talisman Aubrey Modiba for this clash after he picked up a hamstring injury in the season opener.
This is a game that has become a rivalry out of nowhere, with many Pirates fans still recovering from the 6-1 defeat suffered at the hands of SuperSport United in recent times.
Expect the Pirates to try to control the game and set the tempo in this contest. Their three goals in the opener came from three different players – Augustine Mulenga, Innocent Maela and Frank Mhango – just showing that the giants of the league have the ability to score goals from all areas of the pitch.
The tactical approach will be interesting too. Head coach Milutin Sredojevic noting that one of the reasons they turned a 1-1 draw into a 3-1 win in the opening game was their adjustment into a 4-2-3-1 formation. Look to see the Pirates open up in that here.
As noted above the Pirates have been far from perfect against SuperSport in the recent past. This is a game where the home team is the underdog with a proven record of beating the favourite in similar matches.
Having said that, the two performances in the league so far can’t be ignored. The Pirates are clearly not at their best yet, but SuperSport looked woeful in defense first time up. The favourites are the lean here at 1.48 with BetXChange and for more value look for a 2-1 win at 9.06.