Goal looks at whether or not Masandawana have the ability to put the Sea Robbers to the sword like they did two seasons ago
Mamelodi Sundowns are set to lock horns with Orlando Pirates this coming weekend, and the build-up to the game has brought back memories of that famous 6-0 thumping which most the Buccaneers fans will rather forget.
Nonetheless, Goal looks at whether or not a similar score line is possible on the weekend, or have Pirates turned the corner in their pursuit of success?
Under the stewardship of Milutin Sredojevic, Pirates have been on a rebuilding mission hoping to never repeat the lows that they experienced two seasons ago.
It has certainly been a difficult time for Pirates, considering that in the period that they have endured a barren patch in terms of silverware, their Tshwane rivals Sundowns, have achieved great success. That would hurt many of the Soweto giant’s fans and the club itself knowing their history.
However, after Pirates narrowly missed out on their chase for Premier Soccer League (PSL) glory last season, the happy days look to be back for the Happy People. Pirates currently sit top of the table, while Sundowns are looking to put aside their indifferent start to campaign and keep up with the pacesetters.
This sets up a rather intriguing clash between two giants, but the real question is whether or not Sundowns are still favourites?
Granted, that Sundowns have not had the best of fortunes this season, following their recent win over Free State Stars, they seem to have found their groove at the right time. But seeing a repeat of Sundowns’ 6-0 hammering does seem slightly far-fetched.
The most recent meeting between the wo sides, back in January saw Sundowns lose 3-1. Thus, redemption will be on the cards this time around, and when considered that Sundowns no longer have the likes of Khama Billiat or Percy Tau at their services, a convincing victory may be a tough ask for them.
In addition, the Pirates rebuilding mission seems to be at an advanced stage. When Pirates suffered that 6-0 hammering, it was a shambolic display from a team that were low on confidence. But fast forward two seasons and Pirates look a completely different animal. They look confident and most importantly organised as Micho and his assistant Rulani Mokwena have done wonders to the team.
Although, Pirates have conceded 11 goals in 12 games, they have scored 16 goals and they have not lost by more than one goal this season.
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This indicates the drastic transformation of the Sea Robbers, while Sundowns on the other hand, have struggled in front of goal. They have managed just 12 goals this season, with Gaston Sirino their main attacking source, but he only recently scored a brace which took him to the top of the club’s goal scoring leader board with three goals.
As Pitso Mosimane has consistently said in the build-up to the game, Sundowns are still a work in progress as he still works on the right combinations, this may take time. But what is for sure is that Sundowns will fight tooth and nail for victory and will not give up.
Mosimane may not to do Micho what he did to Augusto Palacios, but even he will admit that a victory, no matter the margin is still three points and an opportunity to win a trophy.