Cape Town City host Orlando Pirates on Sunday looking to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to Stellenbosch FC in their last game.
‘The Citizens’ effectively denied Pirates the league title in 2018/19 with a 2-2 draw in the penultimate game of the season. Those dropped points allowed Mamelodi Sundowns to overtake Pirates and pip them to the title.
The sense that City denied one of the best Pirates sides of recent times a first league title in seven years remains a sore point up to today and adds some extra tension to the fixture.
Both teams come into the game on the back of disappointing results & refereeing decisions. City lost to Stellenbosch last week, while Pirates drew their fourth successive game when they met Baroka on Tuesday.
The Cape Town-based outfit felt that Kermit Erasmus’ disallowed goal in the last game should have been allowed to stand, and perhaps powered them onto a fourth successive victory.
For now, they remain just inside the Top 8 but will want to cement their position there. Likewise, Pirates will feel that Baroka’s equaliser should not have stood. Yet, they were relieved to see a goal of their own, even if it was not enough for victory.
5 – Pirates are currently on a run of now five league games without a win (Drew 4 Lost 1), their longest such streak since a run of six in October/November 2017.
This has turned out to be one of the most exciting fixtures in recent times. There were 8 goals in the double-header last season, the joint-second highest scoring fixture in 2018/19.
Already there have been six this season, following the 3-3 draw in September. Although there have been lots of goals, the two teams usually end up all even.
5 – Since they joined the top-flight, CP City have played to 5 draws against Pirates (Won 1 Lost 1), more than they have with any other team.
Kaizer Chiefs ran out 4-0 winners when they met Stellenbosch in the reverse league fixture this season. That four-goal margin was Chiefs’ biggest winning margin in the league since 2015.
But that was nine months ago, and the league newbies have seemingly found their way among the big boys. As it happens, ‘Stellies’ have won more points (18) than Chiefs (17) since the start of the year.
10 – In the 30-game PSL era (2002 onwards), only five newly promoted sides have won 10+ league games in their first top-flight season. Stellies are currently on nine.
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By Opta Jabu