Khaya Ndubane

By Khaya Ndubane

Digital Manager Phakaaathi

Pirates eager to bounce back against SuperSport

Pirates face the difficult task of beating SuperSport who are unbeaten in their past four matches.

Orlando Pirates will be hoping to grab a last-gasp spot in next season’s Caf Champions League when they take on SuperSport United in a DStv Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

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The Buccaneers come into this game at the back of back-to-back 1-0 defeats against Richards Bay FC and TS Galaxy.

Despite those losses, Pirates are still in the running for a second place finish. But they need a better result than Stellenbosch, who play at Richards Bay on Saturday, to finish second.

Stellies are second with 50 points and the Buccaneers are third with 49 with both teams having played 29 matches.

Pirates face the difficult task of beating SuperSport who are unbeaten in their past four matches, winning two and the other two ending in stalemates.

Matsatsantsa a Pitori also got the better of the Buccaneers in the first round of the season, beating them 3-1 at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane in December.

Shandre Campbell netted a brace for Matsatsantsa and Bradley Grobler added a third. Fortune Makaringe scored a consolation goal for the Buccaneers.

Pirates coach Jose Riveiro was left frustrated after the loss against Galaxy last Saturday, but the Spaniard knows that qualifying for the Caf Champions League remains a possibility for the Sea Robbers.

“We need to win the game against SuperSport on Saturday and hope Stellenbosch don’t have a good day and if they have a good day, then they’ll be in the Champions League next season and that would be well deserved for them,” said Riveiro.

Fifth-placed SuperSport can still qualify for continental football. If they can better fourth placed TS Galaxy’s result, as well as that of two sides below (Sekhukhune United and Cape Town City), then they’ll secure a place in the Caf Confederation Cup.

This is enabled by the fact that Pirates will be facing league champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final next week Saturday.

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Meanwhile, Pirates will go into their final league match of the season without the services of defender Nkosinathi Sibisi, who is suspended for this clash after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in the 1-0 loss to TS Galaxy.

SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt, on the other side, will have a full complement of players to choose from as none of his charges are suspended for this clash.