The mind games have already begun ahead of the crunch tie between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Pirates defender Thapelo Xoki has reiterated that they have a special team capable of beating the mighty Sundowns.
“We’ve got the team that can beat Sundowns, we have shown that before,” Xoki said.
Having served a suspension against Sekhukhune United, Themba “Mshishi” Zwane will be fresh and raring to go against Orlando Pirates.
The number 18 has been superb in recent weeks at the apex of the Mamelodi Sundowns midfield diamond, with two strikers/ forwards to create chances for.
After scoring 37 goals between the 2019/20 and 2021/22 seasons, he has been far less prolific this campaign.
After 22 appearances so far, he has netted just two goals and it’s currently just one strike in the last 21 appearances having scored in the opening match.
He is due a run of goals and Bucs could be in his firing line. As for “Dash” (Monare), it’s been a good few weeks. He hasn’t always been in the starting XI this season, playing just 42% of the league minutes and 35% of the available game-time if we include cup competitions.
In the last four matches, he has been back in the starting line-up, twice alongside
Miguel Timm in a double pivot and twice as the lone holding midfielder with two attacking players in the midfield three with him.
In his eight league starts this season, the Soweto giants have won six of those matches. In the 10 fixtures that Monare didn’t start, it’s just two wins for Pirates.
If, and it’s a big if, Jose Riveiro again trusts the former Bidvest Wits man to hold down the midfield fort alone, it will be absolutely key he comes out on top against Zwane and whoever wins this battle may be the key factor to their side winning the match.
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