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PSL

Orlando Pirates handed double squad boost ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns clash

8:36 AM WAT 29/12/2022
Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates FC.
Orlando Pirates have confirmed that two of their key players have resumed training ahead of their blockbuster PSL clash against Mamelodi Sundowns.
  • The Bafana duo missed last month's Carling Black Label Cup
  • The Buccaneers could be without three key players against Downs
  • Bucs will be seeking vengeance when they face Masandawana

WHAT HAPPENED? Innocent Maela and Nkosinathi Sibisi have both resumed training with the Soweto giants and are set to travel to Pretoria where they will face Masandawana in a PSL encounter on Friday.
This has come as a welcomed boost for the Buccaneers as the duo are an integral part of the coach Jose Riveiro's defence which has conceded just seven goals from 13 matches in the league this term.
Pirates' official website issued the following statement on Thursday morning.

WHAT DID PIRATES SAY?: "Bucs skipper Innocent Maela and fellow defender Nkosinathi Sibisi were among those who took no part in the Carling Black Label Cup," a club statement read.
"The duo has since resumed training and will be looking to feature at Loftus."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maela and Sibisi have been regulars in the Pirates team this term having played 12 matches and 13 games respectively.
The Bafana Bafana internationals are likely to start alongside Tapelo Xoki in a three-man defence as Riveiro sticks to his tried and tested 3-4-3 formation.
However, Bucs could be without Richard Ofori, Olisa Ndah and Thembinkosi Lorch when they square off with the PSL champions.
Ofori and Ndah withdrew from the Ghana and Nigeria squads respectively last month due to the injuries they picked up while in action for their club.
While Lorch has been nursing a serious knee which he sustained in August this year.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR PIRATES? The Buccaneers will be seeking revenge when they take on Sundowns as the 2022-23 PSL campaign resumes after a break enforced by the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Pirates were humiliated by Sundowns in the Carling Black Label Cup final last month with Masandawana securing an emphatic 4-0 win at FNB Stadium.