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Sredojevic: Orlando Pirates won’t have advantage over Sundowns next season

22:35 GMT+4 08/05/2018
Orlando Pirates, Milutin Sredojevic
The former Saint George gaffer stated that he has the highest degree of respect for the Brazilians

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has refuted suggestions that his team will have an upper hand over  Mamelodi Sundowns  in next season's league title race. 

The Buccaneers battled with the Brazilians in a two-horse race for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title in the latter stages of the current campaign.

Sundowns eventually beat Pirates to the ultimate prize - winning it for a record eighth time after defeating Ajax Cape Town 3-1 in Tshwane almost two weeks ago.

The two Gauteng giants are also expected to compete for the league title next season, but Sundowns have a busy schedule ahead, with the group stages of the Caf Champions League starting already underway.

However, Micho does not believe that this will give Pirates the edge in the early rounds of the campaign. 

“I have the highest degree of respect for Sundowns. I believe that Sundowns being in the Champions League will not have positive impact on us or any other team,” Sredojevic told  SowetanLive.

“Sundowns are a very competitive team and they are now used to playing in the Champions League,” he continued.

Pirates and Sundowns will both participate in next season’s Caf Champions League.

“They have pushed their benchmark very high. For us to reach their level and to outmuscle them will take a lot of effort,” the Serbian tactician explained.

Top clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits are also expected to challenge for league honours next season. 

“You can’t talk about a two-horse race when you talk about next season,” he said.

“For us, every single opponent in all five competitions we will be involved in next year‚ we will have to give our utmost respect,” Micho concluded. 

Bucs’ last game of the season will be against Free State Stars at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.