Absa Premiership

Preview: Orlando Pirates v SuperSport United

2017-03-07 09:43
Kjell Jonevret (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates have a score to settle when they host SuperSport United at the Orlando Stadium in the Premiership on Tuesday night.

The last time the two clubs met was the start of November last year, when a 6-1 win for the Pretoria team saw Bucs coach Muhsin Ertugral quitting his job.

Pirates went on to win their next three matches under caretaker coach August Palacios, but have not won a game since beating Chippa United on November 16; a winless run of 11 matches.

They have however shown some decent form of late, earning draws against three on-form sides - Cape Town City, Polokwane City, and on the weekend, Kaizer Chiefs.

After what was his second game in charge, new head coach Kjell Jonevret believes he saw several positives from the Amkhosi encounter, a 1-1 draw.

"I was happy with the match, especially the first half. I think we were the better team at least for the first half but we seemed to tire somewhat in the second-half," he told the club's website.

"In the end I am happy with the performance from my players. They showed commitment and desire to win. But obviously we need to continue working hard.

"We have another tough game coming up against SuperSport United. We expect another tough match and we will have to be ready for whatever they will bring.

"I am happy with how my players have responded to my philosophy and way of working since arriving at the Club. They've been very positive and as a coach I can only be pleased because it's not easy to join a Club midseason and succeed in changing a teams' mind set," he added.

While the Sea Robbers are in 11th position, SuperSport are flying high in third, just two points of the top of the table.

The Tshwane team, unbeaten in their last 17 games, were however not at their best during Saturday night's 0-0 draw with Ajax Cape Town.

Coach Stuart Baxter will be looking to his side to take things up a notch or three when they meet Pirates.

"It is not like it was a wretched performance," he said after the Ajax game. "It is a performance where we didn't put it to bed in the first half.

"Then in the second-half we didn't play with quality to pick apart a team that was sitting there. I'm not happy with the performance and not totally devastated either. Maybe that's football."

Baxter has some injury concerns after defender Clayton Daniels suffered a hamstring injury against Ajax, while Cole Alexander was injured at training last week and Bradley Grobler remains sidelined after a groin operation.

In Pirates team news, Marc Van Heerden is available again after missing the last two games through a muscle strain, but Thabo Qalinge (back) and Thabo Rakhale (hamstring) are still out for a few more weeks. Patrick Phungwayo is a slight doubt after picking up a knock in the Soweto derby.

Neither team has any suspensions.

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  supersport united  |  psl  |  soccer

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