Bucs will entertain Tuks at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night, as they look to close the gap between them and their rivals at the top of the log
Pirates haven’t performed to the best of their ability since the beginning of 2013, but they have done enough to collect crucial points especially when playing at home.
However, taking this game to FNB could backfire for the host because they haven’t won a game at the FNB Stadium this season, but those matches were against their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
Tuks will see this match as a perfect chance to reclaim their top eight spot, as they have done well against big teams in the first round of the season, but they have since slipped out of the top eight for the first time since the beginning of the season.
It has been evident that the experience of playing in the top flight has caught up with Tuks, but their players will certainly not need motivation going into this clash.
Both Pirates and Tuks are without a win in their last three games and three points in tonight’s match is what both teams need to redeem themselves having started the campaign so well.
All eyes will be on Andile Jali against his former club and no doubt, Pirates have the best midfield-combination on paper compared to Tuks and that on its own gives the Soweto giants an edge over their opponents.
Striker Aubrey Ngoma and Lucky Lekgwathi will give this game a much needed spark, and Ngoma will certainly have a point to prove against Pirates, after they loaned out to Tuks despite being signed at the beginning of the current season. It will be interesting to witness how Lekgwathi utilizes his experience to contain Ngoma who scored four goals for Tuks in their 5-1 win over Ajax Cape Town late last year.
Mame Niang is another Tuks player that is expected to give Pirates defence a huge problem with his height and with Siyabonga Sangweni still not in the team, Niang could have his work cut short against the defending champions.
Pirates go into tonight’s match second on the log with 42 points from 21 games, while Tuks are tenth on the log with 26 points from 21 games.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
• Pirates have failed to win their last three encounters, two draws and a loss against Swallows.
• Pretoria University have gone seven consecutive matches without a win, their longest streak since promoted to the elite league.
• Pirates still hold the best defensive record so far this season. They have conceded only 13 goals. One less than leaders Chiefs.
• Tuks have the second highest record of draws in the league so far this season (11). Only SuperSport United have more (13).
• Pirates came from behind to wallop Tuks 3-1 in the reverse fixture, thanks to Andile Jali second half goal and a brace from Collins Mbesuma.