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Eyes on the TKO Cup

2016-10-23 05:37
Tendai Ndoro. (Chris Ricco, Backpagepix)

Johannesburg - Grudge games are in store for supporters in Telkom Knockout fixtures on Sunday.

Revenge will be on top of Golden Arrows and Platinum Stars players’ minds when they visit Orlando Pirates and Baroka FC, respectively.

Pirates and Baroka should be wary of their wounded opponents who have a score to settle.

Arrows lost 3-1 to Pirates in their first league game in August, with Stars suffering the same fate at the hands of newcomers Baroka last month.

Since their defeat by Pirates at Orlando Stadium, which served as a much-needed wake-up call, Arrows coach Clinton Larsen’s charges have gone five games without defeat.

Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs are currently joint log leaders of the Absa Premiership with 13 points each.

Arrows on Sunday revisit the venue where they suffered their only defeat this season and will be determined to reverse that setback.

Pirates have not been in top form this season, with three successive draws that have put them under pressure going into the game.

Orlando Pirates head coach Muhsin Ertugral said he was aware of the challenges that came with leading a club of Pirates’ calibre.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Ertugral admitted that Pirates had not been playing well lately.

However, he was confident that the team could turn things around.

He said the game against Arrows was the best they had played so far and was hoping for a repeat performance.

Pirates may have to win the battle without the hat-trick hero of the previous game Tendai Ndoro as well as Thabiso Kutumela because both players are currently nursing injuries.

Meanwhile, Platinum Stars hope to even the score with Baroka in the away game, after a shocking defeat at home.

Stars have not had the best of starts this season.

They currently have one victory and pressure is beginning to mount on head coach Cavin Johnson.

Star’s three defeats – two in the Absa Premiership and one in the MTN8 – were at home and they are yet to win an away game.

Baroka are known to be giant-slayers in cup compet-itions and are eager to continue with their good fortune on their maiden participation in the Telkom Knockout, particularly in front of their home supporters.

Baroka should be the favourites going into the game after their morale-boosting 1-0 victory against Cape Town City last weekend.

The last game of the Telkom Knockout round will see Absa Premiership defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns hosting Polokwane City at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Thursday .

Sundowns will have to hit the ground running as they won’t have time to rest, following their trip to Egypt for the CAF Champions League final.

They go straight to camp on arrival from Cairo on Wednesday morning.

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