Royal, Pirates in high-stakes battle

Royal, Pirates in high-stakes battle
Royal AM warm up

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday May 26, 2022. 11:00

Royal AM and Orlando Pirates will have a high-stakes battle when they meet in a catch-up DStv Premiership fixture at the Chatsworth Stadium on Friday 27 May 2022, kick-off at 19h30.

Royal saw their winless run in the league stretched to five matches when they were beaten 3-2 at home by Mamelodi Sundowns on May 23.

Despite the result, the KwaZulu-Natal side will finish second on the log – replacing current runners-up Cape Town City on goal difference – if they win this match. This would also secure CAF Champions League football for the 2022-23 season.

Thwihli Thwahla have claimed 30 points from 14 home matches this season. Their only two defeats as hosts have come against Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Pirates are also in the hunt to finish second – and secure CAFCL qualification – after they defeated Maritzburg United 4-1 on May 24, with goals from Thembinkosi Lorch, Kwame Peprah, Deon Hotto and Kabelo Dlamini.

The Soweto side would also need to beat SuperSport United next Monday, 30 May, to claim the runners-up spot.

The Buccaneers have claimed 16 points from 13 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 1-0 loss at the hands of TS Galaxy in early May.

In head-to-head stats, Royal and Pirates have met in just one previous top-flight league clash. That encounter took place earlier this season, at Orlando Stadium in October 2021, and saw the teams play out a 1-1 draw after goals from Linda Mntambo and Levy Mashiane.

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