Orlando Pirates have a big bone to chew with Mamelodi Sundowns.
The two giants collide in the first round of their DStv Premiership clash with Bucs still reeling from three defeats across PSL competitions by their Tshwane rivals last season.
This will no doubt add spice to the encounter at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon, which is certainly the pick of the weekend fixtures.
After four matches, Bucs and Sundowns are among the four teams –alongside SuperSport United and Stellenbosch – that are yet to taste defeat in the new campaign.
The clash in Soweto will also cast the spotlight on Pirates’ new man Goodman Mosele, who has made an immediate impact in the Bucs shirt since his transfer from Baroka FC before the start of the season.
The 21-year-old has played every minute of Pirates’ four league matches and has two goals to his credit.
“I didn’t think the opportunity to start games would come so soon. I expected to spend some time adapting to the team’s style, but the chance came and I grabbed it,” said Mosele in an interview with Orlandopiratesfc.com.
As for Saturday’s game, he said: “It’s important that we play well on Saturday. Whichever team gels well will have the upper hand. It’s a big game and we’re up for it.”
The Brazilians, on the other hand, head to Soweto on the back of fond memories, with their last trip being a 3-0 win that set them well on course to a successful title defence.
The Saturday game will also mark a special occasion for Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena, who in a way returns to his roots. Apart from his links with Pirates through the Sono family, which includes his uncle Jomo Sono, who was part of different generations that donned the Bucs’ black and white, Mokwena is back to face the team he coached two seasons ago.
He spent two-and-a-half seasons at Pirates, first as assistant coach to Milutin Sredojevic and later as caretaker coach for six months. While he never really succeeded with the club, Mokwena has enjoyed a trophy-laden spell time at Sundowns and he could return to hurt his former club yet again.
DSTV PREMIERSHIP WEEKEND FIXTURES
Swallows vs Cape Town City (Dobsonville Stadium, 5pm)
Orlando Pirates vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Orlando Stadium, 3pm)
AmaZulu vs Baroka FC (Jonsson Kings Park, 3pm)
Sekhukhune United vs Golden Arrows (Ellis Park, 3pm)
Stellenbosch vs Chippa United (Danie Craven Stadium, 5pm)
SuperSport United vs Maritzburg United (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 5pm)
Royal AM vs TS Galaxy (Chatsworth Stadium, 3pm)
Marumo Gallants vs Kaizer Chiefs (Peter Mokaba Stadium, 5pm)