SuperSport, Pirates set for midweek battle

SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates will have a midweek Absa Premiership battle when they meet at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday, 20 February 2019.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm CAT.

SuperSport claimed a second successive victory when they defeated Golden Arrows 3-2 away on February 10, with Teboho Mokoena scoring a late winner.

Matsatsantsa have claimed 16 points from eight home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic on January 20.

Pirates were last in league action on February 9 when they played to a 1-1 draw away to Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs. The result extended their unbeaten run in the Premiership to 15 matches.

However, their last competitive outing was last Tuesday when they succumbed 2-0 away to Esperance de Tunis in a CAF Champions League group stage match.

The Buccaneers have claimed 19 points from 10 away matches this season, with their only defeat on the road coming at Bloemfontein Celtic in August 2018.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and SuperSport have met in 55 league matches since 1990. The Buccaneers have claimed 23 wins compared to 17 for Matsatsantsa, while 15 matches have been drawn. The Tshwane side has won 11 of their 27 home league matches against their Soweto counterparts, suffering 10 defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, at Orlando Stadium in mid-September 2018, Pirates claimed a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Vincent Pule, Thembinkosi Lorch and Ben Motshwari. The result broke a six-game league winless streak in the rivalry for the Buccaneers.

Previous league line-ups

SuperSport’s line-up from their 3-2 win over Arrows on February 10: Williams, Nhlapo, Daniels, Mutale, Bhasera, Furman, Mokoena, Modiba (Lebese 68'), Macuphu, Rusike (Keene 70'), Grobler (Kekana 63').

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Chiefs on February 9: Sandilands, Mbekile, Jele, Ndengane, Maela, Motshwari, Nyatama (Mulenga 61’), Mlambo (Makola 69’), Lorch, Shonga (Munetsi 86’), Pule.

Head-to-Head

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2013/14 SuperSport 1-0 Pirates Grobler

2014/15 SuperSport 1-2 Pirates Phala; Sarr, Myeni

2014/15 Pirates 4-1 SuperSport M. Masuku 2, Erasmus, Myeni; Phala

2015/16 SuperSport 1-0 Pirates Boxall

2015/16 Pirates 2-2 SuperSport Myeni, Makola; Grobler, Farmer

2016/17 SuperSport 6-1 Pirates Letsholonyane, Boxall 2, Phala, Grobler, Brockie (pen);

Ndoro

2016/17 Pirates 1-1 SuperSport Lorch; Mnyamane

2017/18 Pirates 0-0 SuperSport

2017/18 SuperSport 0-0 Pirates

2018/19 Pirates 3-1 SuperSport Pule, Lorch, Motshwari; Khumalo

LEAGUE RECORD (since 1990)

Home

P W D L GF GA

SuperSport 27 11 6 10 34 31

Pirates 28 13 9 6 41 21

Away

P W D L GF GA

SuperSport 28 6 9 13 21 41

Pirates 27 10 6 11 31 34

Total

P W D L GF GA

SuperSport 55 17 15 23 55 72

Pirates 55 23 15 17 72 55

What the teams are saying

SuperSport United winger George Lebese

"I'm happy to be back on the pitch, it something I spoke about with coach [Kaitano] Tembo, I'm here to contribute on the team and enjoy myself," said Lebese after his debut against Golden Arrows earlier this month.

"There's no pressure for me, I'm here to enjoy my football. I'm not focusing on any negatives."

The player on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns added, "I'm happy at this club. I won't really comment on the future, everything will be decided by how I work as a player."

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic

“We came here immediately after a really tough match on Saturday [February 9 against Kaizer Chiefs] with the intention to recover, and we did everything possible to do so physically and mentally,” said ‘Micho’ after the loss to Esperance de Tunis.

“We entered the match very strongly and did very well until one moment of losing concentration cost us so much in that set-piece.

“Once you fall down, as we did in the first half, you’re practically forced to put yourself in extra-attacking mode, risking and using more striking forces to try and equalise.

“During the period of looking to equalise, we conceded the second goal which practically put the game beyond our control.”

SuperSport United key players

George Lebese – The former Kaizer Chiefs man has been a given new lease on life following a loan move from Mamelodi Sundowns to SuperSport United. Lebese will hope to revive his career in the blue of Matsatsantsa and impress in this game against Orlando Pirates.

Teboho Mokoena – The promising midfielder gave a fantastic display in United’s 3-2 win over Golden Arrows earlier this month, including a superb winning goal. Mokoena’s mettle will be further tested against the Buccaneers, but it’s a challenge he should relish.

Orlando Pirates key players

Thembinkosi Lorch – The attacker made a major impact on the Soweto derby earlier this month with a beautifully-taken goal, and he’ll hope to carry that form into this clash with SuperSport United. Bucs will look to Lorch to unlock Matsatsantsa’s defence at the Mbombela Stadium.

Xola Mlambo – Pirates’ ‘pass master’ will look to set the tempo for this clash against SuperSport United. Mlambo’s ability to keep his team ticking over through midfield has been a feature whenever he has pulled on the famous black jersey this season.