Mamelodi Sundowns are bracing themselves for a tough ABSA Premiership match against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilians have a good record against Bucs in recent years. Pirates suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat when the two teams last clashed at Loftus in February 2017.
Their involvement in the CAF Champions League late in 2017, forced Sundowns to play catch-up in the domestic league campaign. The Brazilians saw their matches in hand disappear, having now played an equal number of games as the other title chasers.
They now only enjoy a four point lead over second placed Cape Town City at the top of the Premiership table.
Sundowns will go into this weekend’s encounter as firm favorites, not having lost to Pirates in the past six matches. But Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says his defense has to be extra vigilant against their hard running opponents.
The Sundowns players will not be complacent because they are aware that they will be facing a different side to the one they scored nine goals against, in last two matches.
“Forget 6-0, there is no 6-0, it’s a different team, you see how they defend. They are very good in defence, forget 6-0 guys that thing it’s a once off you know. I’ve seen also Man United losing six, I’ve seen Arsenal losing six, and I’ve seen Real Madrid losing six to Barca. We have lost five to Bloemfontein Celtic yeah, so those things do happen”.
Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana says they are vigilant of the sea robbers. “You have seen the last two games when they played against Baroka and Celtic, they played very well and you can see the way they putting the ball on the ground. So as players we very much aware of their threat, and obviously the danger they can cause to us”.
This will be the first match for former Orlando Pirates captain, Oupa Manyisa, against his former employers.
“I am quite looking forward to it but I can’t put pressure on myself, I have to take it as a normal game like the other games we have played. It’s always an open game, there’s no team that wants to seat back, both teams want to score goals,” says Manyisa.
Pirates are fifth in the log with 23 points after the same number of matches played.
The match kicks off at half past three, and will be broadcast live on SABC 1.