Mamelodi Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates Preview: Kick-off time, TV channel, Squad news
Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates’ confrontation at Loftus Versfeld on Friday will mark the return of Premier Soccer League business.
The two traditional giants will set the ball rolling in the afternoon on a day when four other matches will follow in the evening.
Since October 30, PSL action has been on a halt but it is back and it starts with this blockbuster fixture.
Masandawana will be resuming their pursuit of a record-extending sixth consecutive league title.
They are five points clear at the top of the table and have nine points more than fifth-placed Pirates who were last crowned PSL champions in 2012.
The Buccaneers would want to resume their campaign on a high note by claiming three points in Tshwane.
|Game||Mamelodi Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates|
|Date||Friday, December 30|
|Time||15:30 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App||SuperSport TV's PSL channel 202/SABC 1|
Squads & Team News
Sundowns welcome back striker Peter Shalulile from injury after the Namibian underwent sports hernia surgery in October but has since fully recovered.
To add more attacking options for coach Rhulani Mokwena, another forward Abubeker Nasir is also back and could taste competitive action for the first time since September.
Midfielders Haashim Domingo and Sphelele Mkhulise as well as centre-back Brian Onyango has also returned from nursing injuries.
But defenders Terrence Mashego and Abdelmounaim Boutouil still have another two months out dealing with fitness issues.
Utility player Aubrey Modiba is back from suspension which saw him miss Masandawana’s last two competitive games after being red-carded, interestingly, in the MTN8 semi-final against Pirates.
Pirates went for the World Cup break without two key defenders in captain Innocent Maela and Nkosinathi Sibisi.
But the duo is back and that is good news for Jose Riveiro whose goalkeeper Richard Ofori is, however, a doubt for this match.
Striker Evidence Makgopa has also fully recovered from an ankle injury that has delayed him from making his Pirates debut.
Sundowns go into Friday’s game enjoying an incredible run of six straight league wins.
They last suffered a defeat in the PSL in early September when SuperSport beat them 2-1 in a Tshwane Derby.
But their opponents Pirates are licking wounds after going 1-0 to Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs in their last league outing.
Riveiro’s men also suffered a 4-0 defeat to Sundowns in the Carling Black Label Cup which was their last match before the break.
They would, however, take pride in the fact that their last competitive clash with Sundowns ended in a 3-0 win away in Tshwane that eliminated Masandawana from the MTN8.
That win prompted the Brazilians to reshuffle their technical team with Mokwena elevated to the head coach role while Manqoba Mngqithi was demoted.