Pirates v Bidvest Wits
Third place Orlando Pirates host Wits in the late Saturday fixture. In the midweek games they played, both sides earned a point apiece against title-favourites Chiefs and Sundowns. Both sides may still have a role to play in deciding the title race, but they have their own interests as well. A win for Wits and they overtake Pirates into third, at least until SuperSport play on Sunday.
The two sides have already met twice this season (once in the league and once in the Nedbank Cup) and the two games have produced 13 goals (including extra-time). Five goals in the opening four games since the restart point to a slow start for most PSL teams, so it could be too early in the restart to expect another thriller.
Pirates restricted Sundowns to just one shot on target during the week, but couldn’t find the net themselves. On Wednesday, a Wits side chasing the game, fired 20 shots against Chiefs – the second highest total Chiefs have faced all season. And if those metrics are anything to go by, this could be an interesting game. However, if recent head-to-head form is to be followed, Wits could have the edge.
8 – Since Gavin Hunt took over, Wits have beaten Pirates eight times in the league. Against no other side have they won more (8 also v Arrows, Celtic and Maritzburg).
It’s one of those records that Gavin Hunt will want to maintain before the club end their top flight journey at the end of the season. He will remind his team that most of those wins against Pirates have come through dogged defending, with five of them ending 1-0. This leaves him with another record he could set:
7 – Pirates have failed to score seven times in league matches against Wits since Hunt took over, the same as Platinum Stars, Chippa and Golden Arrows. Against no other side have Hunt’s men kept more clean sheets.
Pirates have now scored one open-play goal in their last five league matches (plus one penalty and one own-goal benefit). They will need to improve massively at the front, in order to overcome Wits.
Leopards v Maritzburg
4 – In March, Maritzburg beat Polokwane City, in the process winning a fourth consecutive Absa Premiership game, their best ever run since they joined the PSL. A win would set a new record for them.
SuperSport v Celtic
2 – Siwelele have won just twice away to SuperSport in the PSL era, drawing ten times and losing the other 8. The Nedbank Cup finalists will be looking to change that record.
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By Opta Jabu