Pirates get first run under De Sa

New Buccaneers coach Roger de Sa craves a good start to silence his critics
Both Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates go into their Absa Premiership clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday afternoon hoping to halt a run of successive defeats.

Dikwena have suffered back-to-back losses to Bloemfontein Celtic and Ajax Cape Town, while Pirates fans have had to endure consecutive 3-0 defeats at the hands of SuperSport United and Moroka Swallows.

Those results ultimately cost former coach Augusto Palacios his job and the club made the surprise decision to appoint Roger de Sa in his place on Monday.

Having had just five days to work with his players, it would perhaps be a little unfair on De Sa to expect immediate results, but he will know that a winning start with help to endear him to the many Pirates fans who have questioned his appointment.

He will also be without leading striker Benni McCarthy, who was injured on national team duty with South Africa in Brazil, as well as his fellow forward Ndumiso Mabena.

That means a possible first start for new Zimbabwean recruit Takesure Chinyama, who could partner Zambian Collins Mbesuma in attack.

Stars, meanwhile, will be hoping to take confidence from their only other home game this season, a comprehensive and well-deserved 3-1 victory over high-flying Moroka Swallows in early August.

They have a number of players who have worn the Pirates jersey in the recent past, not least midfielder Benson Mhlongo and striker Patrick Malokase, who played for The Buccaneers just last season.

The fact that it is Pirates will mean that there is an extra edge

The latter had a loan spell with Dikwena in the second half of the last campaign and proved such a hit that he was signed on a permanent basis.

He is now looking to put one over his old employers and get Stars moving up the table again.

''We are coming off two defeats in a row, so for us this is a crucial three points, whoever we would be facing,” Malokase says. "But the fact that it is Pirates will mean that there is an extra edge.

"Every player wants to test themselves against the best and Pirates’ trophy success in the last two seasons has been phenomenal. It shows just what a quality side they are and even though they have struggled in their last few games, we know that we will need to be at our absolute best to get anything from them on Saturday."

History is against the home side though, over the last eight league clashes between Stars and Pirates, The Buccaneers have won seven of these with the other a draw.