Bucs, Usuthu begin Absa Premiership campaigns

Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu’s meeting on Thursday will complete the first round of Absa Premiership fixtures at the start of the 2013/14 season.

The match will take place at FNB Stadium, kick-off is at 7:30pm.

Due to Pirates’ participation in the CAF Champions League, this clash was not scheduled for the weekend of August 2-4 as the other seven matches of round one were.

Pirates ended last season in third place on the log table, ending their reign as PSL champions.

The Buccaneers’ next three league fixtures see them take on Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns (both away) and Polokwane City (home).

AmaZulu recovered from a dreadful start last season to end in the relative safety of 12th place, though they were just four points above the relegation zone.

Usuthu’s next three league fixtures see them take on Mpumalanga Black Aces (home), Ajax Cape Town (away) and Moroka Swallows (home).

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and AmaZulu have met in 49 league matches since 1985.

Bucs have 22 wins compared to nine for Usuthu, while 18 matches have been drawn.

Pirates boast a strong home record against the Durban side, with 15 wins and just three losses from 24 matches.

However, the last three home league matches for the Soweto side against AmaZulu have all ended in draws.

Last season the teams played to a goalless draw in Soweto, while the return game in Durban ended 1-1 after goals from Collins Mbesuma (Pirates) and Goodman Dlamini (AmaZulu).

The last six league matches between the teams have produced just five goals.