Bucs confident of title
Mickey Modisane (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates believe they will be crowned Absa Premiership champions on Saturday.
That was the confident boast from Bucs spokesperson Mickey Modisane, who correctly forecast a month back the title race would go to the last day of the season - and he was spot on.
The title race is between champions SuperSport United and Bucs, but Pirates do not have their destiny in their own hands. They must beat AmaZulu at Ellis Park and hope United lose to Santos in their final game at Stellenbosch's Coetzenburg Stadium. All eight fixtures will kick-off at 15:00.
United, the defending champions, slipped badly when they lost their last home match of the season going down 2-1 to Golden Arrows at the Super Stadium on Wednesday, while Bucs drew 1-1 against Ajax Cape Town in their penultimate fixture on Wednesday.
United go into the final straight with 54 points, followed by Bucs on 52. A draw would allow United to win back-to-back titles even if Bucs beat Usuthu as they have a much bertter goal difference.
However, Modisane, looking into his crystal ball, predicted: "Santos will beat SuperSport. I think the wheels are starting to come off at SuperSport. We have the easier final lap against AmaZulu and we do not intend making any mistakes."
Modisane has appealed to Bucs fans in Johannesburg and in the Cape for support.
Said the Bucs spokesperson: "We want our fans in Cape Town to go and support Santos in numbers and help us. We are also appealing to Pirates fans to fill Ellis Park as they did in the Derby last weekend against Chiefs, and become our 12th man and motivate the players.
"The mood in the camp is on ahigh and we are confident our trophy drought will end. " Bucs last won the championship in 2002.
Pirates are injury free but face an AmaZulu side needing three points to qualify for the Top Eight and Clive Barker's men are not about to do Bucs any favours.
United coach Gavin Hunt was not a happy person as he reflected on the wasted chanced that caused his side's defeat against Arrows
He said: "We still are in charge. We know what we have to do. My worry is while we are creating chances, we are not scoring goals. We need to find the net."
Hunt knows what to expect from the compact Coetzenburg Stadium. "We still have our future in our own hands and now we need to go to Stellenbosch and grab it."
There is still a dog fight between three clubs, Bloemfontein Celtic, Thanda Royal Zulu and Maritzburg United as to which one of the three will finish 15th and be forced into the promotion/relegation playoffs.
Both TRZ and Celtic won on Wednesday. Celtic beat already relegated Bay United 3-0 at home while Thanda edged out Platinum Stars 2-1 at home while Maritzburg drew 1-1 in their home clash against Free State Stars.
Maritzburg have 35 points, TRZ 32 and Celtic 33.
Celtic travel to the Charles Mopeli Stadium to face Free State Stars in a Free State derby, TRZ and Maritzburg square off in a KwaZulu-Natal derby at the Mpumalanga Stadium in what will be a cup final for both clubs.