SuperSport v Pirates Preview

Telkom Knockout Cup | Saturday 23 November | Lucas Moripe Stadium | 15:00





To Win (90mins)
SuperSport Utd 17/10 
Draw 21/10 
Orlando Pirates 15/10

SUPERSPORT UTD

SuperSport United have been a consistently impressive side in front of goal in the league this season, and
with the likes of Bennett Chenene and David Mathebula shining through from the midfield, it’s allowed club newcomer Mame Niang to flourish too.

They’ve had a solid setup of fixtures and this has allowed them to build and structure their season around game-winning tactics.

Even with their league pedigree in recent years, they’re still underestimated on a regular basis, especially by the big sides and often this allows them to slip under the radar.

The Matsatsantsa locals always come out in numbers to faithfully support and it’s something the side relies on to build confidence during games.

Their only real glitches so far have been losses to Stars and Swallows in the league, so they’ve held their own in the games they should be winning.

As silly as that sounds, it’s a common trait that hampers many big sides, and something to take note of with SuperSport.

Their task on Saturday won’t come lightly, in fact it’ll be a bulldozer-like onslaught from a continent-conquering army of Sea Robbers.

ORLANDO PIRATES

Orlando Pirates have a squad of players who’ll be flying high after recent success.

Their exploits in the CAF Champions League were admirable to say the least, and they were beaten in the finals by worthy winners.

Stand-out performance by key players when the heat was on was great to watch, and it showed character from a side usually surrounded by teams in a league where they’re feared before the games even start.

Punching above your weight game after game and showing up continental dominators when you’re the underdog can only be a good thing in the long run for the club.

To puff some egos up even more, players like Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa shone for Bafana in midweek.

They certainly are the side that the rest of the South African clubs have their focus on.

Bucs’ major concern going into this is ensuring they have full focus on what’s at stake, and will be a massive test of Roger De Sa’s ability to rally his troops on an ongoing basis.

The likelihood is that Kermit Erasmus will miss the game on Saturday, and this means the weight upfront will fall on Lennox Bacela.

There is also talk of Jali missing out, but this will be one player the management will do anything for to get him match fit.

Betting Prediction: SUPERSPORT UTD 17/10
The last time these two teams met was also during cup competition back in August, where Pirates bundled SuperSport out of the MTN8 on penalties. Although this is just one fixture, it highlights the tight affair in store. Head-to-head there is almost nothing separating these teams, with the only notable stat worth mentioning being the away side’s form historically. Pirates have picked up more wins when they’ve met in Pretoria, whilst in Orlando the results are split down the middle. It shows that these sides always travel with intent, and it’s up to the host to ward of the invasion. This fixture is no different, and Pirates will be SuperSport’s ultimate test. At the end of it there has to be a winner, and for my liking, against the belief of many, SuperSport seem to be the objective way to go. They look more settled locally, and I believe they can take advantage of a Pirates side that may turn up complacent on the day. As much as my heart disagrees, a home win after a titanic 90, or even 120 minutes with penalties, is where I’d call this one.



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