Pirates look to take title race to final round

Pirates look to take title race to final round
Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates clears ball from Lehlohonolo Majoro of Cape Town City during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 19 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Apr 27, 2018. 11:00

Orlando Pirates will hope to take the Absa Premiership title race to the final round of the season by winning at Cape Town Stadium against hosts Cape Town City on 28 April 2018, kick-off at 15h00.

City played to their third successive draw in the league when they fought back from a goal down to hold Polokwane City 1-1 in Limpopo on April 25. The Cape side has won just once in their last 10 league matches, but still look on course for a top-half finish.

The Citizens have claimed 20 points from 14 home matches this season, with their last game as hosts ending in a goalless stalemate with SuperSport United in mid-April.

Pirates claimed a seventh win from their last eight league matches when they crushed outgoing champions Bidvest Wits 4-0 at home on April 25. The result saw the Soweto giants close to within four points of Mamelodi Sundowns and they will need the leaders to lose or draw their match at home to Ajax to have hope of taking the title race down to the wire.

The Buccaneers have claimed 23 points from 14 away matches this season, with their last game on the road bringing a 2-1 win at AmaZulu in mid-April.

In head-to-head stats, City and Pirates have met in three league matches since the start of last season. The Buccaneers boast an unbeaten record, with two draws and one win – the victory was recorded earlier this season, in Soweto in September 2017, when they defeated the Citizens 1-0 thanks to a goal from Thabo Qalinge.

City’s line-up from their 1-1 draw with Polokwane on April 25: Stephens, Mkhize, Fielies, Johannes, Edmilson, Putsche (Patosi 62’), Mngonyama, Martin, Matsi (Moseamedi 78’), Ralani, Juma (Akosah-Bempah 59’).

Pirates’ line-up from their 4-0 win over Wits on April 25: Mpontshane, Nyauza (Munetsi 73’), Thopola, Jele, Maela, Shitolo, Nyatama, Mlambo, Memela (Gabuza 83’), Mulenga, Shonga (Maphanga 63’).

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