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Football | Absa Premiership

Benni McCarthy © Backpagepix

Pirates visit rookies Chippa before derby



Orlando Pirates will be looking to make it five Absa Premiership wins in a row when they take on Chippa United at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night, kick off is at 7:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

The Buccaneers are currently sitting in second position on the table, four points behind Kaizer Chiefs, with a game in hand.

Roger de Sa’s side have been in excellent league form of late, taking maximum points from their last four matches, scoring 10 goals and conceding just two.

Pirates go into the game with the distraction of Saturday’s Soweto derby potentially clouding their focus, and are minus two key players as Sifiso Myeni and Siyabonga Sangweni are both suspended.

Zimbabwean striker Takesure Chinyama is also doubtful with injury, but there is a possibility that Benni McCarthy and Thulasizwe Mbuyane could return to the side after recovering from injury.

In another boost for the defending champions, midfield dynamo Andile Jali is also back in the frame.

“We’re building some good momentum at the moment, and it’s a great feeling amongst the coach and the players to be in good form,” said Bucs goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa ahead of the game.

“We’re highly motivated to continue our good run, but we know it will be difficult against Chippa.

“Playing a side that has just lost is always a challenge as they are determined to bounce back. We won’t underestimate them – they are in the PSL like us and we cannot let their position on the table affect our approach to the game,” added Meyiwa.

Chippa meanwhile have been showing signs of improvement under Farouk Abrahams. The Chilli Boys took five points from his first three games in charge, but some rank bad defending against Ajax Cape Town saw them losing the Cape derby 3-2.

Chippa will again be without club captain Vuyisile Ntombayithethi, who remains injured, while central defender Gift Sithole has accumulated four yellow cards and a one game suspension.

Ntombayithethi has been down at training with his teammates this week and says the spirit is good, as one would expect for one of the highlights on the Chippa calendar.

“A game like this, the coach does not need to motivate, the match and the opponents are motivation enough. It’s the first time we are playing Pirates and the guys are determined to make sure it ends well for us.

“We know where to stop Pirates, we do not fear them. Of course they have players like Mbesuma and others than will be a big threat, but we have made our plans,” said the Chilli Boys skipper.

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