JOHANNESBURG — Orlando Pirates will target a third successive home win in the South Africa Premiership football when they host Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium tonight.
Pirates were held to a goalless draw away to University of Pretoria in their last outing, their first 0-0 stalemate of the season.
The Soweto giants have claimed seven points from four home matches this season.
Their next three league opponents are Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns (both home) and Moroka Swallows (away).
The Buccaneers are placed fifth on the Absa Premiership log with 18 points from 11 matches.
Maritzburg suffered their first home defeat of the season when they were beaten 2-1 by Moroka Swallows in their last outing.
The KwaZulu-Natal team has claimed six points from as many away matches this season.
Their next three league opponents are University of Pretoria, AmaZulu (both home) and Mamelodi Sundowns (away).
The Team of Choice is placed sixth on the Absa Premiership log with 17 points from 12 matches.
In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Maritzburg have met in 16 league matches since 2005/06.
The Buccaneers have 10 wins compared to four for the Team of Choice, while just two matches have been drawn.
Pirates have won five of their eight home matches against Maritzburg down the years, suffering just one defeat in the process. Last season Bucs completed a league ‘double’ over United, winning 1-0 both home and away.
The other game tonight, will see bottom of the log AmaZulu hosting Tuks at the Princess Magogo stadium with kick-off set for 7:30pm.
AmaZulu have had a torrid time this season having not won a single league game, seven losses to their name and only four points registered on the log with their closest rival seven points ahead of them. The Durban-based club were last in action over a week ago, on Saturday, November 22, suffering a 4-2 loss to Platinum Stars.
Tuks will fancy their chances against Usuthu as they look to improve on their 12th place standing on the table with 13 points.
Tomorrow will see six matches taking place, the highlight of which sees Bidvest Wits hosting league leaders Kaizer Chiefs at Bidvest Stadium with the match broadcast live on SuperSport 4 from 7:30pm.
The Amakhosi are nine points clear at the top of the table, but have stuttered in their last two outings, playing to a 1-1 draw against Mamelodi Sundowns and most recently, last week Tuesday, to a 0-0 draw against Polokwane City.
Wits, who are placed third on the table with 20 points (10 adrift of Chiefs), are in fine form having won their last two matches, most recently beating MP black Aces 2-1 last week Wednesday and will be confident of hopefully handing the Soweto-based club their first league defeat of the season.
Another exciting game to watch out for tomorrow night is the big Tshwane derby which sees Sundowns hosting SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe stadium with kick-off set for 7:30pm.
SuperSport come into this game on the back of a high after lifting the Telkom KO trophy following their 3-2 beating of Platinum Stars this past Saturday.
They do, however, face stiff competition in Sundowns who are under pressure to produce a victory after drawing their last four league matches. Three places and two points separate the two teams on the table — Sundowns are placed seventh with 17 points while SuperSport are 10th with 15 points.
Second-placed Ajax Cape Town will look to close the gap on Chiefs at the top of the table when they travel to Dobsonville stadium to face Moroka Swallows with kick-off set for 7:30pm.
Ajax, on 21 points, are nine points behind Chiefs in second place while Swallows are placed 13th with 13 points. Both teams come into the game off the back of wins last week Wednesday – Ajax beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 while Swallows recorded a 2-1 win over Maritzburg.
Chippa United will be hoping to continue their fine start to the season when they host MP Black Aces at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium with kick-off set for 7:30pm.
Chippa’s 1-0 win over Free State Stars in their last league match last week Wednesday was their sixth of the season and sees them in fourth place on the table with 20 points which is four better off than ninth-placed Aces. Clive Barker’s side will be looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat they suffered to Wits last week.
Platinum Stars is another team who will be looking to bounce back after the disappointment of losing the Telkom KO final this past weekend when they travel to the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium to face Polokwane City with kick-off set for 7:30pm. Three places and three points separate the two on the league table with Polokwane in 11th place on 14 points while Stars, who have played two games less, have 11 points.
Fixtures today (730pm)
Orlando Pirates vs Maritzburg, AmaZulu vs University of Pretoria
Free State Stars vs Bloem Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns vs SuperSport United, Moroka Swallows, Ajax Cape Town, Bidvest Wits vs Kaizer Chiefs, Polokwane vs Platinum Stars, Chippa United vs Black Aces — Supersport