Arrows and Pirates look to spark their season

Both Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates will be seeking a season-sparking victory when they meet in a DStv Premiership clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Saturday.

Arrows have gone four league matches without a win after they were held 0-0 at Stellenbosch on 6 November, leaving them in 10th place on the log table. Their last league win was over Marumo Gallants in early October.

Coach Lehlohonolo Seema believes his side has performed well lately – despite their victory drought – and wants them to continue executing the processes they have worked on.

“I think if we can play like this going forward I think we’ll win a lot of games,” explained Seema. “During the international break we went back and said, ‘Let’s now look at ourselves and try to implement our way of playing.’”

He added, “We need to pick them up and say, ‘Gents, let’s continue with the same effort, same attitude, same hunger, same determination.’ We can get a lot of wins from this [kind of] performance.”

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed eight points from five home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 0-0 draw with Swallows FC earlier this month.

Pirates, meanwhile, suffered a second league defeat of the season when they were beaten 2-1 at Kaizer Chiefs, though Linda Mntambo did score for a third successive time in the Premiership.

The result left them in seventh place – a full 11 points off the pace of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, having played a game more than the table-toppers.

The defeat to the Amakhosi was a bitter pill to swallow for Pirates, with co-coach Fadlu Davids insisting that they were the better team and should continue to play in the same vein going forward.

“The opposition coach Stuart Baxter comes to us afterwards and apologises for the penalty, apologises for us not getting a penalty, apologises for us maybe not getting a penalty in the first half as well, then it tells you the story,” Davids explained.

“It’s a really unfortunate situation that happened. I think [it was] total dominance from start to finish. But you have to use this dominance to score the goals when you are on top.”

The Buccaneers have claimed six points from five away matches this season, with their only victory on the road coming against Chippa United in September.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Arrows have met in 40 league matches since 2000/01.

The Buccaneers have claimed 20 wins compared to seven for Abafana Bes’thende, while 13 matches have been drawn.

The Durban side has won five of their 20 home league matches against their Soweto counterparts, suffering 10 defeats in the process.

Arrows took four points off Pirates in the teams’ two league meetings last season, with a 0-0 draw in Soweto in January 2021 followed by a 2-0 home win at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium the following month, thanks to a brace of goals from Pule Mmodi.

The result broke a run of three goalless draws between the teams.

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

Golden Arrows

Pule Mmodi: The winger/attacking midfielder will pose a potent threat to Pirates’ defence come Saturday afternoon, with his penchant for both creating and finishing scoring chances now well known throughout the DStv Premiership.

Thabani Zuke:The young defender has impressed for Arrows this season, establishing himself as a first-choice pick for the Durban club. Capable of playing all across the backline, Zuke will no doubt have his hands full in trying to curb the attacking impetus of Pirates.

Orlando Pirates

Linda Mntambo:The versatile midfielder/forward has netted in three successive Premiership games for Pirates, though only one has ended in victory. Mntambo will hope to continue his scoring streak and bring a much-needed three-point haul to the Buccaneers.

Olisa Ndah:With Thulani Hlatshwayo struggling to find consistency in his performances, the mantle of defensive leader could fall to Olisa Ndah. The 23-year-old Nigerian is composed under pressure and classy on the ball, but he’ll need to be sharp against Arrows’ nippy attackers.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2016/17 Pirates 3-1 Arrows Ndoro 3; Sibiya
2016/17 Arrows 2-1 Pirates Lamola, Mutizwa; Gabuza
2017/18 Pirates 0-0 Arrows
2017/18 Arrows 1-2 Pirates Shongwe; Lorch, Dube
2018/19 Pirates 0-0 Arrows
2018/19 Arrows 0-1 Pirates Shonga
2019/20 Pirates 0-0 Arrows
2019/20 Arrows 0-0 Pirates
2020/21 Pirates 0-0 Arrows
2020/21 Arrows 2-0 Pirates Mmodi 2

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