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Football | Absa Premiership

Glen Salmon © Backpagepix

SuperSport, Bucs bring SA to a standstill



In what is a potentially a league-title-deciding match, third-placed SuperSport United will host second-placed Orlando Pirates at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night in an Absa Premiership, kick-off at 18h00.

SuperSport have come from nowhere to be currently challenging for the league title.

Matsatsantsa’s recent form is remarkable considering that only three weeks ago the former PSL champions had been in a terrible slump – they had gone six league matches without scoring a goal.

Now having won their last four matches in a row and other results going their way, United are now a point behind joint league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates.

But the chance of Gavin Hunt’s men lifting the league crown is the hardest run-in of all the contenders.

After the conclusion of this match against Pirates, Matsatsantsa turn their attention to a Pretoria derby against Sundowns and a tricky away match at Bloemfontein Celtic.

Experienced player Glen Salmon says that the team spirit in the United camp is at its highest as the players are looking forward to beating Pirates especially after their good result against Kaizer Chiefs this past Saturday.

“The confidence in the team is back. The four wins in a row have given the guys a new perspective in the race for the title.

“Pirates have given us a rough time in the last couple of seasons and they now owe us one. We know if we beat them we have a major chance of winning the title, if we beat them, and it gives us extra motivation.

“It has been a good turn around considering that slump we had been through. Had we avoided that unfortunate period, who knows where we could have been?” Salmon said.

The Buccaneers, on the other hand, can be disappointed with their recent results.

Three successive draws has seen Pirates surrender pole position on the log table to Mamelodi Sundowns while the Buccaneers could have been well clear of the chasing pack.

Pirates caretaker coach Augusto Palacios says every coach, not only him, is feeling the pressure in the run-in with only three rounds of league matches left to play.

“With Pirates there is always pressure, so what you need to do is take it game by game. There is no coach who can't say he is not feeling the pressure; for us each game is a final and every game is pressure.

“The game against SuperSport United is going to be pressure again.

“One by one we'll get there [the League title]; we are not thinking about the other results. The media always say that we draw, but we are also not losing, and that's the most important thing,” Palacios said.

This promises to be an interesting encounter with both teams vying for the coveted Absa Premiership league title. Both clubs have lifted the title three times since the inception of the PSL in 1996. In the first round Pirates won this fixture 3-0.

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