AmaZulu look to dent Pirates’ title hopes

AmaZulu look to dent Pirates’ title hopes
Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates shields ball from Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Supersport United and Orlando Pirates at Mbombela Stadium, Johannesburg on 11 April 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Apr 13, 2018. 11:30

AmaZulu will look to dent the Absa Premiership title hopes of Orlando Pirates when the teams meet at King Zwelithini Stadium on 15 April 2018, kick-off at 15h00.

AmaZulu have gone three league matches without defeat after drawing 1-1 away to Bloemfontein Celtic on April 8. Mhlengi Cele scored a third goal in their last four matches to secure a point for the Durban side.

Usuthu have claimed 20 points from 13 home matches this season, with their last game as hosts bringing them a 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in early April.

Pirates saw their winning streak ended at five matches after they were held 0-0 away to SuperSport United on April 11. The result left the Soweto side three points adrift of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in the title race.

The Buccaneers have claimed 20 points from 13 away matches this season, and are unbeaten on the road since losing 3-0 at Ajax Cape Town in January.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and AmaZulu have met in 54 league matches since 1985. The Buccaneers have claimed 23 wins compared to 10 for Usuthu, while 21 matches have been drawn. The Durban side has claimed six wins from 27 home league matches against the Soweto side, suffering eight defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, they played to a 1-1 draw in Soweto in December 2017, with Pirates defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza scoring at both ends of the field. The last 11 matches between these teams have produced just 15 goals.

AmaZulu’s line-up from their 1-1 draw with Celtic on April 8: Mbatha, P. Gumede, Ouro-Akoriko, M. Gumede, Sikhakhane, Ncube, Karuru, Morton, Mabiliso (Nomvethe 85’), Cele, Manzini (Ncobeni 66’).

Pirates’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with SuperSport on April 11: Mpontshane, Dube (Munetsi 65’), Jele, Shitolo, Maela, Mlambo, Nyatama, Lorch (Mulenga 72’), Makola, Memela, Shonga (Qalinge 81’).

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