Pirates have got back to winning ways in recent matches and now host Silver Stars in a Castle Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A Star Away
When the two sides met in the Absa Cup last season, underdogs Silver Stars produced the better performance and captain Daniel 'Sailor' Tshabalala was at the center of their continued attacks as they won 2-0. The player was admired by Pirates fans and management alike, and has subsequently jumped ship for R1million in the winter.
Stars have struggled since Sailor departed and have yet to register a win this season. Their problems stem from a lack of creativity in midfield, even though coach Owen Da Gama bought several midfielder's when his star player departed.
Amabhakabhaka, meanwhile, have lost two of their brightest stars, Mbulelo Mabizela to English team Spurs and the late Lesley Manyathela, and the team has struggled to find a goal-scorer with the latters instincts.
They lost their opening game to SuperSport United 2-0, and have struggled at home to Black Leopards 0-0 and Manning Rangers 1-1, before picking up wins against Zulu Royals (1-0) and Dynamos (2-0).
Tactful Da Gama
Da Gama has the utmost respect for his former player Sailor, but the rookies coach knows his strengths, as well as his weaknesses, and new signing Thabang Lebese may be the man to neutralise him.
Eager To Progress
The Bucs will also be hoping that Sailor can add 'inside' information on how his former team thinks, and that he could also be the trump card against Stars. The home team are eager to march on to Castle Premiership glory amidst pressure from their fans and recent media reports stating that coach Roy Barreto is soon to leave.
Probable line ups:
Pirates: Tlale, Tau, Khomane, Tlhomelang, Phakathi, Dinha, Thwala, Vilakazi, Kauleza, Mothibi, Lekoelea
Stars: Diale, Mabuya, Ntwagae, Khaile, Chauke, Williams, Kgatla, Mkhize, Ngobeni, Masanabo, Moriri
Players To Watch:
Pirates: Sibisiso Mazibuko scored when he came on as a sub against Dynamos and looked dangerous going forward. A start for this winger could mean trouble for Stars
Stars: Expect Da Gama to be cautious knowing what Sailor can do. The cunning coach is no stranger to big games as he may ask Lebese to do the job on his former man.
April 5 Stars 2-0 Pirates, Thohoyandou Stadium