Orlando Pirates are out to continue with their Premier Soccer League resurgence when they visit Marumo Gallants at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
After a difficult run of three straight defeats, the Soweto giants rose to record victories in their last two matches.
Those wins eased pressure on coach Jose Riveiro and his men who had received criticism during their rough patch.
Now, they are keen to make it three wins in a row and climb up the table from fourth spot while hoping third-placed SuperSport United lose to Swallows FC on Saturday evening.
A mammoth 24 points separate the Buccaneers and log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
They, however, still have a good chance to finish the campaign as runners-up because second-placed Richards Bay have five points more than them.
But what could make Pirates’ evening a difficult one is that they are facing desperate opponents who are looking for a way out of their difficult situation.
Dan Malesela’s Gallants are at the foot of the table and would throw everything at Pirates to redeem themselves.
Losing to the Buccaneers would see Bahlabani ba Ntwa’s hopes of vacating the relegation zone becoming more fanciful.
|Game||Marumo Gallants vs Orlando Pirates|
|Date||Saturday, January 28|
|Time||20:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App||SuperSport TV's PSL channel 202|
Squads & Team NewsSouaibou Marou, Collins Makgaka, Orlando Pirates, January 2023
Riveiro could throw in Souaibou Marou as a surprise weapon after Pirates indicated the Cameroon international is nearing his debut after completing his first week of full training.
Given that he has been issued with a work permit, Marou’s availability would be bad news for Gallants.
There has been other good news in the Buccaneers camp as Thembikosi Lorch is also close to playing.
Goalkeeper Richard Ofori has been involved in full training but might not play on Saturday.
Central midfielder Miguel Timm might have to pass a late fitness test after returning to training this week following his absence against Stellenbosch.
Right-back Thabiso Monyane is doubtful after injury sidelined him from the last three matches.Backpagepix.
Malesela has a boost in his squad as he welcomes back defender Sibusiso Khumalo who is returning from a two-match suspension after being red-carded against Richards Bay.
No Marumo Gallants player is suspended for Saturday’s encounter.
While Pirates have won their last two league games, it is a sad story for Marumo Gallants.
Bahlabani ba Ntwa have now gone for seven consecutive league matches without winning and they last tasted victory when they edged Cape Town City 2-1 in October 2022.
That winnless run includes five defeats and two draws which makes Saturday’s game a must-win.
Pirates beat Gallants 1-0 in the reverse league fixture last August, with Paseka Mako’s early goal handing them victory.