• One week to decide Pirates’ season

    Luvuyo Memela of Orlando Pirates celebrates with Musa Nyatama and Vincent Pule

    Orlando Pirates face a testing week where they will play fellow title chasers Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits and the outcomes of those matchups will almost certainly decide the fate of their season, writes DEAN WORKMAN.

    Pirates’ massive week begins on Monday night when the host defending champions Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium.

    The game was brought forward due to accommodate Downs’ participation in the Caf Champions League and it means that Pirates will now have two must win games in the space of five days ending with their trip to the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

    The Buccaneers currently sit third on the Absa Premiership log one point behind second place Wits, although they do have a game in hand on the Clever Boys, while they are further three points behind Pitso Mosimane’s team with both teams having played 23 games.

    That means victory on Monday evening will see the Sea Robbers join Downs on 43 points, but a defeat will see them six points off the top with six games remaining.

    Whatever the outcome may be in the massive clash between Pirates and Downs, Milutin Sredojevic and his chargers will still be in the title race when they face Gavin Hunt’s team on Saturday afternoon in what will be a must win for both teams.

    Wits have been transformed this season and only have the league to focus on following their exit from the Nedbank Cup.

    While Pirates have improved tremendously under the tutelage of Sredojevic and his technical team comprising of Rhulani Mokwena and more recently Fadlu Davids, two defeats this week will see their title ambitions taken out of their own hands and could ultimately see the Soweto giants end yet another season trophyless.

    Pirates have not picked up any silverware since 2014 and this season was thought to be the one where they end this dread drought.

    They came close in the Telkom Knockout, but suffered a shock loss to Baroka at the final hurdle, and this week will ultimately have a major say on whether they will end the 2018/19 campaign with their hands on the Absa Premiership title.

    Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

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