Arrows coach Clinton Larsen throws out the rule book head of Pirates clash
Clinton Larsen wants Lamont-ville Golden Arrows to upset the form book and score early against a schizophrenic but on-form Orlando Pirates in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash on Wednesday.
Arrows coach Larsen said his team would have to focus for 90 minutes at Orlando Stadium and, importantly, stop Bucs from getting on top early.
Pirates might be top of the PSL‚ but the scary part about the Buccaneers is that they are also clearly still a work in progress‚ as evidenced by their past two games. Bucs had 2-0 leads by the break against Cape Town City at home and Baroka away‚ and endured nervous second halves against both.
Pirates allowed City to come back for a 2-2 draw and held on for a 2-1 win against Baroka.
"We’ve got to just focus for 90 minutes against a team like that‚" Larsen said on Tuesday.
"A very dangerous team‚ I think, with some in-form players if you look at the likes of Xola Mlambo‚ Vincent Pule‚ Thembinkosi Lorch and Augustine Mulenga. They start the game very brightly‚ they try to get an early goal. And that’s something we’ve got to be wary of.
"But sometimes the pushing forward like that with numbers can leave them exposed. And it’s in those moments that we need to capitalise."
Bloemfontein Celtic will not allow off-field problems to distract them when they meet Mamelodi Sundowns in Wednesday night’s Premiership match-up at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium‚ Brazilians rightback Thapelo Morena said.
He does not believe his former team will allow themselves to be affected by the saga of Celtic owner Max Tshabalala’s attempted sale of the club.
Tshabalala‚ believed to be in debt of R70m‚ is looking for new buyers after a deal fell through in September, amid player strikes and signing-on fees not being paid.
"It’s going to be a difficult game for us. Because somewhere‚ somehow, we really need the three points‚" Morena‚ the quick fullback who joined Sundowns from Celtic in August 2016‚ said.
"Celtic have also been having challenges — the ones we’ve been reading about in the newspaper. But I don’t think they will take that to the game.
"They’re just going to come motivated that they’re playing Sundowns and to give their best. So it’s going to be a very difficult team for us to play.
"We can also take points off a team near the top in this game. And it will be difficult because they also want to stay on top.
"They are a team who want to play. And the chances they get, they do their all to finish. That’s the main areas they’ve been working on," Morena said.
"Their centrebacks and their wingbacks like to go up. We know how good someone like Lantshene Phalane is with his distribution and going forward.
"We know their weaknesses and where we need to go to create opportunities."
Downs coach Pitso Mosimane has gone on a buying spree to replace outgoing stars Khama Billiat and Percy Tau with quality incomers such as Toni Sylva‚ Phakamani Mahlambi and Lebohang Maboe.
"Even in training‚ if we’re doing things like finishing‚ we compete among ourselves‚" Morena said. "And I think that will help sort out our problems of converting chances."
Sundowns are in seventh place with two wins and three draws from five matches.