Sundowns coach Mosimane braces for Pirates showdown
Brazilians look to close the gap on log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with win at Orlando Stadium
Pitso Mosimane has conceded that his Mamelodi Sundowns charges will have their work cut out against resurgent Orlando Pirates in their anticipated Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Brazilians take on the Buccaneers looking to close the gap on log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who have a six-point lead.
This match comes four days after Sundowns were involved in a big CAF Champions League assignment in which they beat USM Alger 2-1 on Saturday to qualify for the quarterfinals.
“They [Pirates] are doing well under new coach Jozef Zinnbauer. They are scoring goals but they have the same players that we know‚” said Mosimane‚ who added that they must improve in front of goal after they missed numerous opportunities in the CAF tie against USM.
“We have a good team‚ it’s going to be a nice game and I only hope we don’t miss a lot of goals. And our defence must be tight as well.
“It’s three points; it is also about bragging rights and the fact that it’s a big game means we both want to win.”
This is a big week for Sundowns as they have city rivals and third-placed SuperSport United in the Tshwane derby on Sunday at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
“There is no break between games. You know where we are on Wednesday and where we were last week.
“What we need to do is to get some of the players who are injured back to add a little ammunition.
“You can see that Gaston Sirino was not at his best on his return from injury. I also wanted to give Ricardo Nascimento a chance but I couldn’t.
“Mauricio Affonso and Ali Meza are [out with] injuries and we are also still waiting for Phakamani Mahlambi to return from injury.
“When those guys are back‚ we can do something in the league because we are playing in three tournaments in seven days.
“But we can’t complain. It is the way it is and the Champions League is a little bit of a relief and now our focus is on the PSL.”
Mosimane was happy to welcome back Sirino in the USM encounter after he missed successive league games against AmaZulu and Bidvest Wits.
But the Sundowns coach will be without suspended Themba Zwane against Pirates. The influential Zwane received his fourth yellow card in the goalless draw against Wits last week.