MATCH PREVIEW: Pirates v Wits

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Today we shall witness an exciting confrontation from all fronts as Orlando Pirates host Bidvest Wits in a pulsating Nedbank Cup last 32 fixture at the iconic Orlando Stadium at 15:00 local time.

Matches between ‘The Buccaneers’ and ‘The Students’ have delivered nothing but drama, goals and epic moments and thus, today’s encounter is no exception.

Pirates come into this fixture as the form team with players like Thembinkosi Lorch, Vincent Pule and Gabadinho Mhango springing to life as the season approaches the business end of things were relegation and honours occupies the mind of all football stakeholders.

Mhango, however, is suspended for the clash.

In contrast Wits’s campaign has been intertwined and juxtaposed with a demanding CAF Confederation Cup schedule where their exploits were dismal to say the least and rightfully so eliminated in the group stages.

FARPost’s Technical Study Group investigate the balance of factors leading to this tantalizing ‘Ke Yona’ match and takes you, our trusted readers into the crust of this match.

1. JZ v Another Big 3 Coach

After brushing aside Pitso Mosimane’s Sundowns in January, Josef Zinnbauer has an opportunity to get one over another big 3 Coach in Hunt.

In their last match against Chippa United, The Buccaneers applied a conventional but flexible 1-4-2-3-1 offensive system with their wingers Lorch and Pule freely encroaching into the half spaces and in turn allowing both fullbacks (Innocent Maela and Abel Mabaso) the right to overload the sides. The 2 overlapping fullbacks were both involved in the 2 goals scored by Mhango on the day.

Bucs coach Zinnbauer, middle, was spotted at Bidvest Stadium recently.

JZ needs to complete his personal grand slam of beating the top 3 coaches and with Pitso Mosimane down, it’s Hunt and Ernst Middendorp next.

2. Testing the depth

At Orlando, ‘The Buccaneers’ will have to negotiate a passage into the last 16 without the league top goal scorer and lethal striker Mhango.

Supporters could lament the absence of this prolific goal machine but as for the technical team it is an opportune moment to test their soldiers on the bench and show the Plan B in their tactical artillery in this must-win tie.

3. Hunt is a tactical nightmare

With over 500 games as a top flight coach in the SA domestic league, Hunt oozes experience and resilience to navigate any demanding circumstances and triumph in the end.

The 4-time league champion is a cunning, troublesome and tactical nightmare in how he operates and dissipate his technical-tactical strategy all the time.

Wits under Hunt can play possession based passing game, utilize their wing-play effectively, employ a basic route-one attacking strategy and applies a pressing game approach to stifle their opponents completely.

In their last match in the CAF competition against Djoliba AC he had applied a structured 1-4-4-2 attack play with Deon Hotto and Sameehg Doutie operational as wingers and Cole Alexander and Thabang Monare providing the central midfield creativity and defensive shield to the defense.

But just how he will set his troops against Pirates remains a mysterious act.

4. Gift Motupa and his goals

The rumours which were doing the rounds during January transfer window of Sundowns’s interest in Motupa highlights the talent of this Limpopo goal poacher.

Motupa has scored 5 goals and contributed 2 assists in 13 PSL matches and 6 goals in 7 CAF matches this season, taking into consideration that some matches Hunt utilized him as an impact player from the bench.

His goal scoring exploits were rewarded by the league as he bagged the December Player of the month prize, hence expect him to play his part depending on when the coach unleashes him.

5. Conclusion

In the first round match between Pirates and Wits we were treated to a pregnant 7 goals with Wits winning 4-3.

Will this encounter follow the late diva Whitey Houston’s song ‘Same script, different cast’ again?

FARPost cannot wait to join the multitudes of our people in witnessing this scintillating clash, after all its dubbed ‘The Cup of Dreams’.

By FARPost Reporters

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