Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer has proclaimed Mamelodi Sundowns as favourites for Wednesday’s Absa Premiership encounter at Orlando Stadium.

This is going to be Zinnbauer’s fourth game in the Premier Soccer League since his arrival last month at Bucs and he has collected seven points from a possible nine.

But the German agrees that this is also going to be his first major test as he comes up against the reigning league champions. He says they have nothing to lose in this game.

Pirates and Sundowns matches most of the time are thrilling encounters and tonight’s game won’t be an exception with tickets having been reported to be selling like hot cakes in the last 48 hours.

Sundowns are unbeaten at “Esgodini Sikamaminzela” (Orlando Stadium) against Pirates since 2011 and it remains to be seen if this stat can change tonight.

Zinnbauer watched Sundowns at Loftus Stadium in the CAF Champions League this past weekend and he knows what to expect tonight.

There’s some interesting debate in the footballing banter space leading to this game as a win for Pirates could see their bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs benefitting and possibly stretching the gap to 12 points at the top should they beat Black Leopards away on Saturday.

Interestingly after hammering Cape Town City 3-0 this past weekend, Chiefs tweeted (Pirates Dumela- “Hello Pirates”) but Bucs attacker Luvuyo Memela says they are not focused on doing favours but execute the job which will benefit the black and white.

Some good news for Bucs is that they are coming to this game on the back of a positive run of five matches unbeaten in the league and will be hoping to stretch it.

It is their best run so far this season after a slump which saw them only registering four league wins in 13 matches before Zinnbauer arrived.

Bucs number one goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, who is also a former Sundowns player, is hoping that they can continue to build on this come tonight as a win could improve their chances of fighting for a top three.

Report by Velile Mnyandu