Mamelodi Sundowns - Orlando Pirates Preview: Bucs out to end Downs' dominance
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The Buccaneers will look to narrow the gap at the top of the league table when take on the Brazilians in Tshwane Stadium on Saturday

Mamelodi Sundowns will look to build on their recent victory over Ajax Cape Town as they prepare to take on Orlando Pirates on Saturday afternoon.

The clash between the two giants of South African football is slowly becoming one of the key match-ups in the league, and after Sundowns’ recent demolition job of the Buccaneers, fans could be in for an absolute humdinger.

However, while recent results involving the two teams have gone the way of Sundowns by some considerable margin, the Sea Robbers certainly have a point to prove, especially considering that the Brazilians have opened an eight-point lead over their Johannesburg rivals.

But with the race for this season’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) title so tight, victory for Pirates could see them move temporarily to third position depending.

On the other end, victory for Sundowns has the potential to unofficially eliminate their opponents from the title race which only adds to the premise behind Saturday’s clash.

But while the clash is all to play for, it should be noted that Pirates hold a slender advantage.

In terms of rest days, Pirates last played on the weekend where they walked away with a 3-1 victory over Baroka, while the Brazilians had to make a trip to the Mother City in midweek. 

"We are playing against a well-rested Orlando Pirates with no injuries, and a difficult team, but I don't worry about Orlando Pirates, I worry about what is in front of me," Mosimane was quoted as saying by Kwese ESPN.

"I can't comment on the clubs behind me. I can comment on my team... in this league, you can see there is a new team in second, third, fourth, five, six, seven, eight. You never know. That is not in our hands and not something we can worry about," he added.

Meanwhile, going into the clash both sides will have most of their stars at their disposal with Thabo Matlaba being the only notable absentee from the Pirates squad as he's serving a one-match ban.

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The absence of Matlaba could be a considerable factor in the game, especially with Percy Tau in red-hot form, having already bagged six goals this season.

Nonetheless, in spite of Sundowns’ recent dominance in this fixture where Pirates last league victory against them came in the 2014/2015 campaign, historically speaking, the share of victories between the two sides have been closer than expected.

Out of 33 previous meetings, Sundowns have registered 13 wins and suffered defeat on 12 occasions.

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Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates Orlando Pirates
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