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Football | Absa Premiership

Roger de Sa © Gallo Images

Pirates turn attention to the league



Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows will look to forget their disastrous weekend in Cup football when they turn their attention back to the league as these two local rivals will clash at the Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday evening, kick-off at 7:30pm.

Pirates were embarrassed 4-1 by Maluti FET College in their Nedbank Cup round of 32 encounter this past Saturday, a shock result that will certainly go down as one of the biggest upsets in South African football history.

The loss to Maluti, who compete in the third tier of South African football, sees the Buccaneers left with only the league title to compete for in the domestic season.

The Buccaneers are placed second on the Absa Premiership log with 40 points from 18 matches. Pirates collected a fourth successive league win last midweek when they edged out an in-form Platinum Stars 1-0 at home.

The Orlando outfit has performed well away from home this season, with six wins and just one loss from nine matches on the road. If Pirates beats Swallows in this match then they will ascend to the top of the log standings, just a point ahead of nemesis Kaizer Chiefs.

Pirates coach Roger de Sa is confident that he will have a better team when Bucs takes on the Birds.

The former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper says that for the league clash on Tuesday he will have a much improved squad as the team seeks to collect maximum points against the Dube Birds.

“It will be a different game altogether,” says De Sa who celebrated his 400th competitive match as a coach this past weekend.

“Swallows are a strong team and they will be playing at home, so I think we will have to strengthen our side if we are to get a result against them.

“It will be a tough match but I think we will be ready in time to put up a good show and win the match.”

After Pirates were humiliated by the college team from Maluti, three hours later Swallows were kicked out of the Nedbank Cup by SuperSport United, a team that they beat in the final of the MTN8.

The Birds will want to recover from the 5-3 penalty loss and focus on getting their first win of the year.

The team in maroon and white has recorded three wins, two draws and three losses from their eight home matches so far this season. They are placed 12th on the Absa Premiership log with 19 points from 18 matches.

Former Pirates winger Bennett Chenene who is in his last season with Swallows after agreeing a pre-contract with SuperSport United is mindful that the Buccaneers will be spitting venom when the two teams meet on Tuesday night after the loss to Maluti.

“Firstly speaking about our recent form, I don’t think we have been doing quite badly. Defending was huge problem for us a few months ago, but now we are conceding minimal goals and we getting draws which is better than losing,” the former AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic left sided midfielder remarked.

“We beat Pirates in the first round of the season. In fact we embarrassed them in front of their home supporters, so they will approach this match with a mind-set of settling some old scores.

“They will be desperate to appease their supporters after they got beaten by school kids this past weekend. A loss will be too much to handle for their fans, but that is what we are targeting because we want the three points to improve our log standing.”

When these teams met earlier this season, the Birds claimed an emphatic 3-0 away win over Bucs thanks to goals from Chenene, Mpho Maleka and Katlego Mashego.

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