Downs, Pirates set for epic showdown

Mamelodi Sundowns will be gunning for a win to boost their morale as they visit Orlando Pirates in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday at Orlando Stadium.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

The Brazilians are stuggling so far as they have lost three consecutive games in all competitions and will want to bounce back.

Coach Pitso Mosimane has admitted that they are in a wrong space for now as they lost 1-0 to Chippa United in the Telkom Knockout Cup, including to AmaZulu and Kaizer Chiefs in the league.

However, the Tshwane giants netted eight goals over the Buccaneers in two league rounds last season without conceding and will want to claim another win.

On the other hand, the Soweto giants are a different outfit this season under coach Milutin Sredojevic as they have only lost once in the league.

Pirates are fresh from a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in the TKO Cup last weekend and were held in a draw against rivals Amakhosi the week before.

Previous starting XI:

Pirates: Mabokgwane, Maela, Nyauza, Chabalala, Matlaba, Sarr, Makola, Qalinge, Lorch , Shonga, Kutumela

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Soumahoro, Madisha, Hachi, Kekana, Manyisa, T. Zwane, Billiat, Sekotlong, Tau

Head-to- Head

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Sundowns 1-3 Pirates Manqele; Mbuyane, Chinyama, Myeni

2012/13 Pirates 0-1 Sundowns Schut

2013/14 Pirates 0-1 Sundowns Kekana

2013/14 Sundowns 0-1 Pirates Masuku

2014/15 Sundowns 0-3 Pirates Erasmus 2, Majoro

2014/15 Pirates 1-1 Sundowns Bacela; Billiat

2015/16 Sundowns 2-0 Pirates Castro, Billiat

2015/16 Pirates 1-2 Sundowns Makola; Castro, Billiat

2016/17 Sundowns 6-0 Pirates T. Zwane, Tau 2, Nascimento, Morena 2

2016/17 Pirates 0-2 Sundowns Billiat, Zakri

LEAGUE RECORD (since 1985)

Home Away Total

P W D L GF GA P W D L GF GA P W D L GF GA

Pirates 32 10 7 15 31 40 Pirates 33 9 10 14 31 45 Pirates 65 19 17 29 62 85

Sundowns 33 14 10 9 45 31 Sundowns 32 15 7 10 40 31 Sundowns 65 29 17 19 85 62

What the teams are saying

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic:

“I have the highest possible degree of respect for Sundowns and their coach Pitso Mosimane, he is my brother,” said Sredojevic.

“It will be a different ball game against Sundowns. The form is not important when you play these types of matches.

“It doesn’t matter whether they lost against Chiefs or not or we haven’t won in four league matches. It will be a totally different game.

“I would love to invite our supporters to come in their numbers to support us in this huge match.”

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane:

“We must always score first because teams sit back against Sundowns. If you don’t score first it puts you in another situation,” said Mosimane.

“I don’t press panic buttons because I look at what’s happening and I understand.

“But if you don’t understand then you start asking yourself questions and saying 'why me or why this player?' We also don’t want to look at the referees when we lose.

“I don’t remember losing three games in a row in my entire career. Yeah, it’s part of my growth and development also and history.

Pirates will be another difficult game, but we are confident we can get a result.”

Key players for Orlando Pirates

Wayne Sandilands: Sandilands is a former Sundowns goalkeeper and has a chance to face his former team for the first time since joining Pirates. After claiming the No 1 jersey in the season so far, Sandilands will want to keep a clean sheet against the Brazilians.

Thabo Qalinge: Qalinge is showing maturity this season and seems to be comfortable under coach Sredojevic. He scored a vital goal last weekend and remains a threat to Sundowns defence.

Key players for Mamelodi Sundowns:

Oupa Manyisa: The former Buccaneers skipper has to find his best form on the day and ensure he beats his former side. Manyisa will want to dominate the midfield on Wednesday.

Khama Billiat: Although he has somewhat dipped in form, Billiat is one of the Sundowns players who usually has a good game against Pirates. He will want to score against a big side and boost his confidence.