FIRST 2018 HEAVY­WEIGHT CLASH - ’DOWNS VS PI­RATES

Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

The first heavy­weight ABSA Premier­ship clash of the New Year will be Mamelodi Sun­downs host­ing Or­lando Pi­rates to­day at Lof­tus Vers­feld.

Many have not been ea­gerly await­ing the ABSA Premier­ship's re­turn this year.

The league, in the first half of the sea­son, had chronic goal scor­ing con­sti­pa­tion.

Nil-nil draws were a com­mon theme. This year, how­ever, it seems like the league has taken a shot of po­tent lax­a­tive be­cause there has been a run of goals.

In the 10 games played in the new

JO­HAN­NES­BURG -

year, there have been 24 goals scored - that's an av­er­age of 2.4 goals per game. If you com­pare that to the 1.95 goals per game scored last year this is a ma­jor up­turn in goalscor­ing.

Thrilling

With Mamelodi Sun­downs fire­power and Or­lando Pi­rates' new found goalscor­ing form, this is go­ing to be a thrilling game, laden with good goals, bad de­ci­sions, and OMG-I-can’t-be­lieve-he-missedthat mo­ments.

Sun­downs are on top of the league and are play­ing the best at­tack­ing foot­ball in the ABSA Premier­ship.

But, their defence is wishy-washy. Their in­con­sis­tency stems from their un­cer­tainty at the back. Pitso Mosi­mane's back four looks vul­ner­a­ble.

Or­lando Pi­rates couldn't buy a goal in 2017. Their wish to Fa­ther Christ­mas must have been the gift of scor­ing more goals in the New Year.

Or­lando Pi­rates scored three goals in the first 20 min­utes of the New Year against Baroka FC. Be­fore their 3-1 bash­ing of Baroka, Or­lando Pi­rates had only man­aged to score two goals in a ABSA Premier­ship match in only one of their 15 games played.

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