Pirates coach Riveiro cagey on new arrivals Marou and Makhaula's playing prospects

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Makhehleni Makhaula, the former AmaZulu captain, joined Orlando Pirates from the KwaZulu-Natal club on a one-and-a-half-year deal. Photo: @orlandopirates/Twitter
Makhehleni Makhaula, the former AmaZulu captain, joined Orlando Pirates from the KwaZulu-Natal club on a one-and-a-half-year deal. Photo: @orlandopirates/Twitter


Orlando Pirates coach José  Riveiro was cagey when asked about the possibility of the new arrivals featuring in a blockbuster DStv Premiership fixture against log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.

“It is supposed to be a press conference about the next fixture and the first question is going to the new players,” said the 47-year-old Spaniard, who joined Pirates on a three-year deal at the beginning of the season.

But anyway, I am happy to have more material in the squad and we are working to make sure that they can be ready to be selected as soon as possible like everyone else.

On Wednesday, new striker Souaibou Marou was hard in training as he waits to play his first match for the Buccaneers.

The 22-year-old Cameroonian striker was joined by another new arrival Makhehleni Makhaula during Wednesday’s session at their training base at Rand Stadium in the south of Johannesburg.

Marou, who was part of the Indomitable Lions’ squad at the Fifa World Cup in Qatar, arrived on January 19 from Coton Sport in his homeland while the 33-year-old Makhaula relinquished his captaincy at AmaZulu to join Pirates on mid-season transfer deadline day on Tuesday.  

Despite the rainy conditions, the Bucs squad looked in good spirits as they prepare for their clash against runaway leaders and champions Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Souaibou Marou has been training with Orlando Pira
Souaibou Marou has been training with Orlando Pirates for two weeks after he joined from Coton Sport in his home country on January 19. Photo: @orlandopirates/Twitter

Pirates have hit form at the right time after winning three matches on the trot following victories over Golden Arrows, Stellenbosch and Marumo Gallants and scoring nine goals in the process.

Sundowns beat Pirates 2-0 at Loftus in the corresponding fixture last month.

For Pirates, who are fourth on the table, another defeat will feel like a knockout punch as it will see them trail Sundowns by a whopping 27 points, although the champions have played two more matches.

READ: Downs breach 50-point mark

For Sundowns, victory in Soweto will see them put their one hand firmly on what would be an unprecedented sixth premiership title in a row.

“One more week and another important three points to play for again. It goes without saying that it is going to be a special game, I hope,” Riveiro said.

He added: 

Playing at home it is mandatory for us to prepare for the game with a good mentality against a good opponent. We are looking for improvement after the last game we played against Gallants.

“We will be looking for areas and departments where we can do things better.”

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