Absa Premiership

Bucs can do rivals Chiefs a favour by downing 'Downs

2020-01-15 14:52
Gabadinho Mhango
Gabadinho Mhango (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates can dent Mamelodi Sundowns' hopes of closing the gap on Absa Premiership log leaders Kaizer Chiefs when the two sides clash on Wednesday.

Amakhosi boast a healthy 9-point gap over the Brazilians with Pitso Mosimane's charges having one game in hand due to their commitments in the CAF Champions League.

Chloorkop-based Sundowns can reduce that deficit to six points with a win in their midweek encounter against the Buccaneers at the Orlando Stadium.

However, the Sea Robbers are yet to taste defeat under Josef Zinnbauer's tutelage.

The German mentor arrived last December after Rhulani Mokwena took over duties on an interim basis following Milutin Sredojevic's sudden departure earlier in the campaign.

His first match in charge was a 3-1 win over Black Leopards - Pirates' final match of 2019 - and he started the new year with a tough 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Last Tuesday, the Soweto giants raised eyebrows as Gabadinho Mhango netted a first half hat-trick to beat Polokwane City 4-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

It's been eight days since their last match, which could work in Pirates' favour heading into the encounter.

As for Sundowns, the Tshwane side had to dig deep last Saturday against USM Alger to claim a deserved 2-1 win in their CAF Champions League Group C encounter. 

However, Mosimane has a pool of players who are talented enough to fill the void when tired legs and unexpected injuries arise for the champions.

Mosa Lebusa boasts the highest passing accuracy (88.9%) in the league - a statistic that has worked in Sundowns' favour this season.

Mosimane will hope that the former Ajax Cape Town defender will continue to influence the game from his own half in order to create space for Sundowns' midfield and strikers. 

A worrying statistic for Pirates fans is that they have not won back-to-back matches this season.

Wednesday night could well be the first back-to-back victory for the Sowetan side, especially with Mhango going through a purple patch of form.

He is currently the league's joint-top scorer (10 goals) along with Bongi Ntulu of AmaZulu.

Mhango, who hails from Malawi, has a chance of extending his league goal tally and will no doubt keep the Sundowns defence on their toes.

Kick-off is at 19:30.

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 18 January 2020
Black Leopards v Kaizer Chiefs, Thohoyandou Stadium 15:30
Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park, Orlando Stadium 18:00
Cape Town City v Wits, Cape Town Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 19 January 2020
SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Golden Arrows, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Friday, 24 January 2020
Cape Town City v Black Leopards, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
SuperSport United v Chippa United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:00
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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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