Sundowns vs Pirates pure fireworks
Mamelodi Sundowns versus Orlando Pirates is the most eagerly-awaited fixture on the Absa Premiership calendar simply because it regularly – as in‚ almost every single time – produces fireworks in the best traditions of skilful South African football.
Defending champions Sundowns and Pirates meet for the first time this season at Loftus Versveld on Saturday as among the early pace-setters in third and first place in the Absa Premiership.
They have begun in such foreboding form – neither too quick out of the blocks‚ both with plenty of room for improvement – that they are most pundits’ early favourites for the race for the title.
The reasons for Sundowns-Pirates always being such an explosive affair (and yes‚ we can just about say “always”‚ because you’d have to go far back in your memory to find one that wasn’t) are varied.
Partly it’s the star quality on show.
Of the big three in South Africa‚ Downs and Bucs are the two who regularly plunder smaller teams‚ and scour the continent‚ for top-class talent in every six-month transfer window.
Kaizer Chiefs really only go on big-name spending sprees every three or four years.
Downs coach Pitso Mosimane is currently rebuilding his team from the losses over the past three years of the cream of his 2016 Caf Champions League-winning star power – Leonardo Castro‚ Keagan Dolly‚ Khama Billiat and Percy Tau.
New additions are taking some time to gel‚ none more so than prolific striker Jeremy Brockie from SuperSport United.