- Kekana has advised Sundowns to hog possession on Saturday
- Masandawana legend feels Pirates get frustrated without the ball
- Both teams have met thrice this season with each side winning once
WHAT HAPPENED? Kekana feels Pirates will try to catch Sundowns on the break in Saturday’s highly awaited encounter at Orlando Stadium and has insisted that the Buccaneers can be humbled, if they're denied possession.
Both Pirates and Sundowns head into the game in good form with Jose Riveiro’s side having won three on the bounce while the Brazilians are searching for a record-extending 15th win in a row.
While Sundowns are known for their possession-based football, Pirates have been mixing it up this season, sitting back to play on the counter attack when needed, but also dominating the ball on occasions as witnessed in their last three games, showcasing Riveiro’s tactical flexibility.
Masandawana have already experienced how lethal the Buccaneers can be on the break when they thrashed them 3-0 in the semi-final second leg of the MTN8 in October.
However, Sundowns have bossed this fixture, winning by two or more goals in five of their last seven meetings, including a 2-0 triumph in December, giving Kekana confidence of a bigger victory on Saturday.
WHAT DID HE SAY? “Pirates are just excited by counter attacks and breaks and are looking for that space behind you,” Kekana told the club’s in-house channel.
“The biggest thing you can never do in Orlando is never share possession with them. Try by all means to have the midfielders on the ball all the time, deny them that opportunity to break.
“The team [Sundowns] needs to try and use the ball more and if you don’t give Pirates the ball, you know what’s going to happen, they open up, they get frustrated and then you can score three, four, five if you want. I think this is a match that requires mental strength.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates have found their shooting boots after previous struggles, scoring nine goals while conceding two, in their victories over Golden Arrows, Stellenbosch and Marumo Gallants to move to fourth on the table on 28 points, 24 behind Sundowns who have played two games more.
Rhulani Mokwena’s side are unmatched, however, with their 14-match run yielding 10 clean sheets with only two goals put past them in that period as they march towards a sixth PSL title in a row.
Riveiro has promised to go toe to toe with the Brazilians in a match he wants to use to see how far his charges have improved, setting up a potentially mouth-watering encounter.
WHAT’S NEXT? Pirates will hope to end Sundowns’ great run while making it four straight victories for the first time this season, in Saturday’s encounter.