Bucs minus Chansa

2010-10-12 09:02

Orlando Pirates’ recent victory in the MTN8 final has not only delivered the first knockout trophy to the club in a decade but it has also served to kick start Bucs’ Absa Premiership title campaign.

But while Bucs are basking in the glory of winning their first knockout trophy in 10 years, they face their moment of truth as regards their potential to challenge for the championship when they face unbeaten log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in what promises to be a fiery Premiership clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium (Super Stadium) on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 3.30pm.

Downs have maximum 12 points from their four matches while Pirates have had a slower start to the season with five points (one win and two draws) from their three matches played.

Bucs go into this early season test minus their midfield kingpin Isaac Chansa who is suspended.

The Zambian international star collected his third yellow card helping Bucs defeat Moroka Swallows 4-2 on a penalty shootout to lift the MTN 8 final in Durban on October 2.

“It is a blow losing Chansa but we have other top class midfielders in the wings such as Mark Mayambela, Teko Modise and Clifford Ngobeni who can fit into Chansa’s midfield slot,” said Pirates spokesperson Mickey Modisane.

Pirates head coach Ruud Krol might be tempted to recall Modise to action after the midfielder missed Bucs’ last two matches including the final after Modise helped Bafana Bafana to a gutsy 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone in a crunch African Nations Cup qualifier at the weekend.

Modise played the full 90 minutes and was praised by Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane.

The Brazilians have looked the team to beat this season.

But not according to Modisane: “We are now the team to beat. Winning the MTN8 was a brilliant mental boost for the whole club and has brought back the confidence to the players and showed they have the ability to win big trophies.

“A win over Sundowns would set the platform and re-inforce the self-belief that has flooded into the team after the MTN8 victory.

“Although the league is a marathon it is important to set an early pace and if we can take three points form Downs we will have sent out a warning loud and clear that Pirates are not going to be satisfied until they win the league.”

Winning the top eight cup has also taken the pressure off Krol.

Now he is now free of the fans wanting his blood for failing to deliver a trophy, the former Dutch captain can focus and set his sights firmly on the league.

Sundown’s new coach Antonia Lopez Habas, who will be named Premiership Coach of the Month on Wednesday, has hit the ground running since he took over from unpopular Bulgarian Hristo Stoitchkov and has been able to successfully bond with his players and get the best out of them in the early season.

Pirates have been fortunate in that they have been in action up until last weekend when they won the top eight trophy while Downs have not kicked a ball for nearly a month and that layoff, because of the MTN8 and the Fifa calendar date last weekend, could see Downs lose their early season rhythm and open the door for Pirates to end the Brazilians’ perfect start to their Premiership season. 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.