Stunned Pirates need to get back to winning ways … quick

Orlando Pirates will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face Royal AM in a DStv Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

The Buccaneers lost their opening league fixture when they were nailed 1-0 by Stellenbosch FC in the Mother City on Saturday night.

That was not the kind of start the Bucs fans expected after the club finished on a high after winning the Nedbank Cup last season.

Bucs also held their off-season camp in Spain, where they played against strong opposition, and a lot is expected from the Sea Robbers.

However, the Bucs ship can expect to sail through stormy waters, according to their website. It is going to be a busy opening month of the 2023/24 season with eight scheduled fixtures.

Now finding themselves in unfamiliar territory in the bottom half of the table, they will be on a mission to make a quick climb up the standings with a win against the KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit.

Royal AM fared slightly better over the weekend, collecting a point in their derby clash against AmaZulu, which finished scoreless at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

The result placed them in 11th place, where they also finished in the 2022/23 league campaign, and they will be eager to claim maximum points in Soweto to strengthen their bid for an improved showing in the current season.

With games coming in thick and fast, there could be a few changes made by Bucs coach Jose Riveiro for the midweek fixture.

Captain Innocent Maela was among the unused subs over the weekend, and could lead the Soweto giants in their first home fixture.

The likes of Makhehlene Makhaula and new signing Katlego Otladisa could also be set for a more extended run out on the field after cameo appearances at the Danie Craven Stadium.

For “Thwihli Thwahla”, there could be starts on the cards for veteran striker Ruzaigh Gamildien and midfielder Kabelo Mahlasela, after both did not feature against AmaZulu.

Pirates and Royal AM have met a total of five times across competitions since their first-ever clash in October 2021.

It is the Buccaneers who have had the upper hand thus far, beating the Royal AM twice with both victories coming in August 2022, when they prevailed in the league before clinching an MTN8 quarter-final win en route to lifting the trophy.


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