Orlando Pirates vs Mamelodi Sundowns: Maema sounds warning alarm?

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Neo Maema.
Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Neo Maema has explained how Orlando Pirates have the quality to hurt the reigning champions.
  • Pirates and Sundowns are set to square off on Saturday
  • It's the thrid time they meet in a competitive game this season
  • Maema expects a different Pirates to confront Downs

WHAT HAPPENED? Pirates will host Sundowns in a Premier Soccer League match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. The two giants are both enjoying some good form, with Masandawana on a 14-match winning streak while the Buccaneers have won their last three league games.

Maema is expecting a Pirates side that will be slightly different in formation, and has warned that, with motivation, they can be dangerous.

WHAT MAEMA SAID: “We are expecting highly motivated Pirates. We know that playing a big game no one needs motivation when it comes to such big games,” said Maema as per Far Post.

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“I expect them to come more [at us] because they have also gotten into their confidence, into the gelling of their players, so I think we are expecting a very difficult match against a highly motivated team.

“Pirates are going to come the same way that they came in the first fixture that we played against them. Now they are a bit more different because they used to play three at the back, now they play four. So they are going to be very motivated, but I think some of their game model has not changed much."

Maema also believes that Pirates' supporters will play a key role as they look to end Sundowns' winning run.

“They are very dangerous on the counter so it’s something that we are going to expect from Pirates," he added. "One thing about Pirates is that their supporters are going to be behind them because they are playing at home.

“So it’s not going to be foreign for them to try to get more numbers upfront. So it won’t be a surprise to see them coming at us, but we have our own goals.

"Our own processes, we know how to guard against such, we just can’t wait for the game over the weekend.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates are one of the three teams that have beaten Masandawana this season and that could see them fancying their chances ahead of Saturday’s encounter.

After TS Galaxy and SuperSport United who have beaten Sundowns, the Buccaneers eliminated the Brazilians from the MTN8 following a semi-final, second-leg victory.

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES & DOWNS? The two traditional giants are preparing for Saturday’s match hoping to be at their, but will the Buccaneers be the team to end Sundowns' winning streak.