United will be tough to beat, says Mashego

2011-04-29 12:47

Premiership title-chasing Orlando Pirates aim to end their poor home record against SuperSport United when they clash at Orlando Stadium tomorrow evening.

United, three-time successive league champions, have not lost away to Pirates for six seasons.

With three matches left to play in the campaign, the Buccaneers have to claim three points against SuperSport to maintain their challenge for a first championship title since the 2004/05 season.

Pirates striker Katlego Mashego, a former United player, admitted they faced a strong challenge from the visitors.

“We are expecting a tough match this weekend, but I believe we will be ready for United,” Mashego said.

“We are ready for whatever they throw at us. It won’t be easy, that we know, but we will give it our all and try to collect maximum points.”

Mashego returns after missing the Nedbank Cup quarter-final against Free State Stars on Monday because of suspension.

Defender Ruben Cloete returns from injury to bolster the Pirates squad and the team’s regular captain, Bafana Bafana player Lucas Thwala, is also available.

After nearly a year out due to injury, Thwala was on the bench in the side’s 1-0 win over Stars but is not expected to be fielded by coach Ruud Krol just yet.
The Buccaneers, however, will be hampered by the suspensions of current captain Lucky Lekgwathi, goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa and midfielder Isaac Chansa.

On Sunday afternoon, fellow title contenders Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs lock horns at Loftus.

Chiefs hope to erase memories of their cup loss to minnows Baroka FC last week by collecting all three points against the Brazilians.

“We know what’s at stake on Sunday and we’re going in there with a positive mindset,” said Amakhosi skipper Jimmy Tau.

“We believe our destiny is in our hands.”

Fourth-placed Sundowns will miss captain Esrom Nyandoro and defender Siyanda Xulu because of suspension, and face a daunting task of playing the first of three games in six days.

“It’s going to be tough,” said nuggety midfielder Matthew Pattison.

“It’s simple for us; we have four games left and we need to get four wins.

“We just have to concentrate on winning our remaining four games.”

In other fixtures tomorrow, Bidvest Wits play Bloemfontein Celtic at Mbombela Stadium in the afternoon and Free State Stars take on Moroka Swallows at Goble Park.

Golden Arrows face Santos at Chatsworth Stadium in the evening, with Vasco da Gama tackling Platinum Stars at Athlone Stadium.

Mpumalanga Black Aces play Maritzburg United at Puma Stadium on Sunday. 

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