Team news

Soccer Laduma - - Siyag Bhoza -

Or­lando Pi­rates had a choice to make whether to use a back three (and there­fore a 3-4-2-1 for­ma­tion) or a back four and go with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 set-up. In the end, they went for a 4-23-1 shape, sur­pris­ing Kaizer Chiefs by us­ing both Justin Shonga and Au­gus­tine Mu­lenga from the start, as well as two at­tack­ing mid­field­ers in Vin­cent Pule and Them­binkosi Lorch, who have both ex­celled this cam­paign. In goal, Siyabonga Mpontshane re­turned in pref­er­ence to Jack­son Mabokg­wane, with Ab­bubaker Mo­bara again at right back. The sur­prise in de­fence was that Mar­shall Munetsi was re­called and young Brazil­ian Caio Marcelo was only a sub­sti­tute. Pi­rates had not kept back-to-back clean sheets in al­most a year and, with­out Nt­sikelelo Nyauza, this was defini­tiely an area of con­cern. In mid­field, Ben Motshwari was pre­ferred to Musa Ny­atama, who has had in­jury prob­lems so far to this cam­paign. To ac­com­mo­date four at­tack­ing play­ers, Lorch was used as a num­ber 10 to press Wil­lard Kat­sande in pos­ses­sion, with Mu­lenga on the right flank and Pule wide on the left, at the start.

On Chiefs’ side, all three of the doubt­ful play­ers in Leonardo Cas­tro, Du­misani Zuma and Khama Bil­liat started the game. This was im­me­di­ately seen as some­thing of a risk as all them were likely to tire out around the 70-minute mark. As Amakhosi have done prac­ti­cally all season, it was a 4-4-2 shape with Bil­liat as a gen­uine striker, with no de­fend­ing asked of him. On the op­po­site flank to Zuma was Bernard Parker, who has been in good form but would have to play wider than he prefers. In de­fence, there was a sur­prise as Mario Booy­sen got the nod ahead of Daniel Car­doso. Chiefs had Kat­sande and Siphelele Nt­shangase as a mid­field two, a pos­si­ble ques­tion mark for the side against Bucs’ threat be­tween the lines and in the half-spa­ces.

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