Pirates look to bounce back from midweek defeat

Pirates look to bounce back from midweek defeat
Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates challenged by Andrea Fileccia of Maritzburg United during the 2017 Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United at the Orlando Stadium, South Africa on 11 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Feb 02, 2018. 10:30

Orlando Pirates will be looking to bounce back from a midweek Absa Premiership defeat when they host Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium on 3 February 2018, kick-off at 20h15.

Pirates suffered their first loss of the year when they were beaten 3-0 at Ajax Cape Town on January 31. The Soweto side had gone on a run of three wins and a draw from four games prior to their trip to the ‘Mother City’ in midweek.

The Buccaneers have claimed 17 points from 10 home matches this season. Their last game as hosts saw them held 1-1 by Polokwane City on January 20.

Maritzburg played to their seventh draw of the season when they were held 1-1 at home by Chippa United on January 26. The KwaZulu-Natal side has claimed a solid return of 10 points from their last five matches to consolidate their place in the top half of the table.

The Team of Choice has claimed 16 points from 10 away matches this season, and their last match on the road brought an impressive 3-0 victory at Free State Stars (who had won four times on the bounce prior to the game).

In head-to-head stats, Maritzburg and Pirates have met in 23 league matches since 2005/06. The Buccaneers have claimed 11 wins compared to six for the Team of Choice, while six matches have been drawn. The Soweto side has won six of their 11 home league matches against their Pietermaritzburg counterparts, suffering two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season they played out a goalless draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium back in September. Four of the teams’ last six league meetings have ended in draws.

Pirates’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to Ajax on january 31: Mabokgwane, Dube (Gabuza 79’), Munetsi, Nyauza, Maela (Foster 70’), Memela, Nyatama, Makola (Jele 36’), Lorch, Shonga, Kutumela.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 1-1 draw with Chippa on January 26: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, Onyango (Matima 89'), De Reuck, Makaringe (Shandu 63'), Ndlovu, Mekoa (Atouba 87'), Maboe, Rusike, Fileccia.

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