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Orlando Pirates hungry after 'terrible schedule' - Riveiro warns Mamelodi Sundowns for MTN8

10:15 GMT+3 28/09/2022
Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro insisted that his side will not be rusty when they face Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
  • Bucs came into the Fifa break in good spirits having defeated Galaxy
  • The Soweto giants have won three of their last four competitive games
  • Riveiro believes Pirates will be well-rested and hungry when they face Masandawana

WHAT HAPPENED? Riveiro believes Pirates will be hungry as club football returns following the Fifa international break.

The break came shortly after the Buccaneers had claimed a 2-0 win over TS Galaxy in a PSL match on September 10 and it was the Soweto giants' third win in their last four matches across all competitions.

Bucs will now take on the defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in an MTN8 semi-final first-leg match on Saturday and the Spanish tactician believes his side will be well-rested and hungry for a victory.

WHAT DID RIVEIRO SAY? “We had a short and well-deserved rest for the boys. We used the time properly. We are still very hungry for the future and we are going to face the game in a very good condition," said Riveiro on Sowetan

“[The break] it’s not bad and it’s not good. It is what it is, we had to adapt ourselves to the schedules. Ours was terrible in terms of games and trips. September was a bit normal and we had this break until the end of the month.

"We didn’t stop so much, it was a good time to do a deep analysis about what we were doing in the competition and get a conclusion to make sure we know where we are in our process. This is a long-term process that we started," he continued.

“There were a lot of things to analyse and try to implement for these weeks. For me, as a coach, I’m glad we have time to train, for a team like us that trusts in the training process. We had the chance to enjoy these full weeks before we face our opponent. It’s something very positive for us."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Fifa break has given Pirates' injured key players Vincent Pule, Thembinkosi Lorch, and Thabiso Monyane more time to recover from their respective injuries.

The Buccaneers have also reinforced their squad with the signings of Sipho Chaine, Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, and Kermit Erasmus since their clash with Galaxy and the trio could be unleashed by Riveiro against an in-form Sundowns side as they are available for selection.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR PIRATES? A Gauteng Derby encounter against Sundowns which will headline this weekend's action in South African football. The Buccaneers will host Masandawana at the iconic Orlando Stadium as they look to grab a first-leg advantage.