The 2021/22 DStv Premiership season resumes this weekend with Orlando Pirates making the trip to KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal where they will meet Golden Arrows at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday, 20 November.
With both sides hovering around mid-table – Orlando Pirates (seventh), Golden Arrows (10th) – and a third of the league campaign concluded, victory will be high on the agenda for both sides.
The hosts will have welcomed the recent international break following a string of poor results that dropped them down to 10th in the standings.
This has been far from the heights they scaled when they emerged as one of last season’s surprise packages.
In their last four league outings, Golden Arrows have not been able to register a victory, losing twice and drawing as many matches while finding the net only three times.
On the other hand, the Buccaneers have fared slightly better over the same period, grabbing five log points to slot into seventh place.
The focus on Saturday will be to add a fourth league win of the season, which could take them as high as fifth place, as they look to close the gap between themselves and log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns with the halfway stage of the campaign approaching.
Winger Deon Hotto has returned to the Orlando Pirates camp following his involvement in the 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers with Namibia.
On the injury front, several Buccaneers are nearing a return to action after lengthy spells on the sidelines, with defender Innocent Maela and striker Zakhele Lepasa among those inching closer to featuring for the first time this season.
Meanwhile, Golden Arrows coach Lehlohonolo Seema has confirmed to the media that his squad boasts a largely clean bill of health going into the fixture.
Abafana Besthende have also welcomed two internationals, Thabani Zuke and Pule Mmodi, who were both part of the Bafana Bafana squad that played against Zimbabwe and Ghana in the qualifiers.
Paseka Mako (Orlando Pirates): After missing out of a few games at the start of the season through injury, Mako has lost none of his spark and will be crucial again on Saturday. With Golden Arrows known to employ their quick counters, the Bucs left-back will be called upon on defence, while he’ll also no doubt be a key feature on attack.
Nkosinathi Sibisi (Golden Arrows): The 26-year-old centre-back will be looking to help Golden Arrows to a third consecutive clean sheet, having been a solid presence in their defence. The ever-improving Sibisi has also added another dimension to his game, scoring in each of the last two games where the Durban side managed to find the net and also providing an assist.
Golden Arrows were the victorious side in the last game between these two sides when they stunned Orlando Pirates 2-0.
That was however Abafana Besthende’s first league win in this fixture in almost four years, with the Buccaneers enjoying a clear upper hand in matches between the two sides.
In the last 32 league encounters, the Soweto giants have emerged winners 17 times, losing just six.
In away games against Golden Arrows, Orlando Pirates have the better record during this period, with seven wins to the hosts’ five, with four ending in a stalemate.
How to watch Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows
The match kicks off at 15:30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL. Live updates will also be provided by The South African website.