Predicting Orlando Pirates' XI to face Royal AM

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Premier Soccer League top-two aspirants Orlando Pirates and Royal AM clash in a potentially stormy affair at Chatsworth Stadium on Friday.

It is a must-win for both sides who are bidding to finish the seasons as runners-up to champions Mamelodi Sundowns and play Caf Champions League football next season.

Victory for Royal AM will see them jump from fifth spot on the table and then hope that Pirates lose to SuperSport on Monday or for the Buccaneers to post a slender victory over Matsatsantsa.

Friday's encounter is an interesting one as Pirates' win would end Royal AM's top-two hopes while they hope to beat SuperSport and play in Africa next season.

GOAL predicts the best possible starting line-up likely to be thrown into the fray by the Soweto giants' coaches at Chatsworth.

  • Richard Ofori, Orlando Pirates, March 2022Backpagepix

    GOALKEEPER -Richard Ofori

    The 28-year-old goalkeeper has conceded six goals in eight appearances for the Buccaneers this season.

    He is now facing a crucial moment where Pirates need to avoid shipping in goals at all cost.

  • Bandile Shandu, Orlando Pirates, March 2022Backpagepix

    RIGHT-BACK - Bandile Shandu

    Shandu is now back in his natural position on the right side of defence after playing a few recent games in midfield.

    With his overlapping runs, this is someone who can be trusted to provide an assist or score.

  • Innocent Maela, Orlando Pirates, August 2021Backpagepix

    LEFT-BACK - Innocent Maela

    Maela is back into the Bafana Bafana squad and he would be keen to justify his national team inclusion.

    The 29-year-old has taken advantage of Paseka Mako's absence to present his case as a reliable left-back.

  • Happy Jele Orlando Pirates 2022.Backpagepix

    CENTRE-BACK - Happy Jele

    The Pirates skipper has looked comfortable playing alongside Olisa Ndah or Ntsikelelo Nyauza at the heart of defence.

    He is enjoying an improved season and has made a statement that he deserves a new contract.

  • Olisa Ndah, Orlando Pirates, November 2021 Backpagepix

    CENTRE-BACK - Olisa Ndah

    In this crucial moment for Pirates, this defensive rock is what they need to avoid thwart any threatening attacks.

    Ndah has been a revelation in his debut season at the Soweto giants.

  • Ben Motshwari, Orlando Pirates, November 2021Backpagepix

    CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Ben Motshwari

    Even following the recovery of Thabang Monare from injury, Motshwari has shut out the experienced midfielder.

    Motshwari is expected to start his ninth league match of the season and make a 12th appearance.

  • Goodman Mosele, Orlando Pirates, March 2022Backpagepix

    CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Goodman Mosele

    Mosele is known to stabilise Pirates' midfield and would be hoping to score his fourth league goal of the season or his second assist.

    Improving on such a record would be important for Pirates.

  • Thembinkosi Lorch, Orlando Pirates, December 2021Backpagepix

    RIGHT MIDFIELDER - Thembinkosi Lorch

    Lorch was in sensational form in the last game against Maritzburg United and was instrumental in all their four goals.

    After scoring a goal and providing three assists in that match, Pirates would be keen for another game-winning performance from Lorch who is back in the Bafana fold.

  • Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, November 2021Backpagepix

    LEFT MIDFIELDER - Deon Hotto

    The Namibia international silenced critics by scoring his first league goal since March to bring his tally to seven.

    If he picks up on that momentum, Pirates would be fancying their chances against a tricky Royal AM.

  • Kabelo Dlamini, Orlando Pirates, March 2022Backpagepix

    ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - Kabelo Dlamini

    This is a player who has quietly been operating in Pirates' midfield but delivering well in a season he has the most appearances for the Buccaneers.

    After scoring his second PSL goal of the season against Maritzburg, his confidence could hurt Royal AM.

  • Kwame Peprah, Orlando Pirates, April 2022Backpagepix

    CENTRE-FORWARD - Kwame Peprah

    Another player who, like Hotto, was under pressure for goals and scored against Maritzburg.

    He has six league goals and for a striker, he would be keen to add on that and end the season on a high.