Reports & Previews

Golden Arrows v Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates will be looking to bounce back from their Soweto Derby disappointment when they face Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday.

Josef Zinnbauer suffered his first defeat at the helm of the Buccanneers with the 1-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium last Saturday.

And it is imperative that the Sea Robbers find a good response to keep their slim title hopes alive.

But it won't be easy against an Arrows side, who have turned Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in to something of a fortress this season. Only Bidvest Wits have come away with three points on their visit to the venue.

Maritzburg United, AmaZulu, Baroka FC, Polokwane City, Stellenbosch FC, SuperSport United, Chippa United, Mamelodi Sundowns and Highlands Park have all failed to win at the Clermont-based venue this season.

The likes of Absa Premiership top marksmen Bradley Grobler and Peter Shalulile have failed to find the net at the Sugar Ray Xulu and Abafana Bes'thende defender Nkosinathi Sibisi is looking to continue this trend against Bucs hotshot Gabadinho Mhango, who is the Absa Premiership's leading goalscorer with 14 strikes to his name.

“It is going to be a busy day. He is the top goalscorer in the league. He has been doing quite well,” Sibisi said.

“We’ve done well against teams with top goal scorers. It has always been our objective as the defensive line of Arrows to keep clean sheets because the forwards are doing the job in front of goal. We’ve drawn inspiration from doing well against top strikers in the league. We are on the right track.

“We’ve done well at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium this season and we want to continue with our good form there. The hopes are high of getting three points against Pirates. We know the strengths and weaknesses of Pirates. They are quick going forward and can score at any time. We’ve worked hard on our defensive patterns and how to hit them on transition. We hope to score more goals and win the game."

The Buccanneers were unlucky to end up on the losing side against arch-rivals Amakhosi and Zinnbauer is not pushing any panic buttons as he still believes his side are on the right track.

“For me we [had] a tough game, it’s one of the best teams in the league, I think we had a little more from the game,” Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer told SuperSport post-match.

“I think we dictated the game but we have not the final pass. It reminds me of [Luvuyo] Memela had a big chance in the second half, towards the goal-line, normally you make this but today we did not have the luck you need when you win against Kaizer Chiefs.”