Tyren Arendse, the former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, has questioned whether or not Peter Shalulile will be available for the MTN 8 second leg semi-final, which takes place at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday Afternoon at 15:30. In Arendse’s opinion this could be mind games.
The BP Top 8 winner has given a brief assessment of the possible tactical permutations from both a Masandawana point of view, as well as given special praise to a combination that is developing at Mayfair.
The Pirates Ship
“A lot has changed for Pirates, at the time Erasmus just joined, and if you look at the combination of Saleng, Ndlondlo and Erasmus it’s an exciting combination,” Tyren Arendse told This Is Football Africa.
“Just also based on the last game, their quick attacking style will help them against Mamelodi Sundowns. When Sundowns have the ball they push numbers forward, they open the field and that creates a lot of gaps for when they lose the ball. If Pirates can use the same quick transition when they win the ball, playing forward, and using that combination as I mentioned before, this might just win them the game.”
The game is matched evenly with both teams coming into the encounter on a high, with everything to play for. If you lose, you are out and with that you miss an opportunity to win silverware. Sundowns have played the last three games without their main marksman, Peter Shalulile, but have scored 16 goals without him, says Sundowns Coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
The Sundowns Camp
“They don’t change the way they play, there is so much quality in that team, “ continued Arendse.
“It’s their home game but I don’t think it will play a part. They always have serial suspects that usually step up and the big talking point is whether Shalulile will be available. I know Rulani Mokoena was saying that there seems to be some sort of issue with him, could it be mind games that he’s playing? Because he is a big part of their game, his goals, if he plays he’ll definitely be a threat. If he doesn’t play, it might just minimise their chances of scoring slightly, but they’ve got a lot of depth like Zwane, Jali, Allende and Sirino are players with quality. Still, without Shalulile it might sway towards Pirates. If I can put my head on the block I’d say Pirates are much better equipped in the way they’ve been playing recently.”
To Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates coach, the past has no bearing on the future and their approach won’t change. Their thoughts are not on the big names, but their focus is on what they want to produce, and the structure they are going to use to achieve their objectives.
“If you have a lot of young players, sometimes the excitement might get to you, so it depends on your squad because in a way you might lose focus,” added Tyren Arendse.
“With experienced players in your team, they sort of calm the younger players down. In my early days I played with a lot of experienced players while at Santos, and we won those four trophies in three years and their experienced players helped calm us down. Experience will count in this game’”. According to OptaJabu, Mamelodi Sundowns are facing Orlando Pirates for the 18th time in PSL Cup competitions, making this their most played Cup fixture. With the Buccaneers coming out on top with six wins, and Masandawana managing five wins, leaving the rest of the results with six draws within their head-to-head record. Another historical fact that further sways towards the Buccaneers, is that they’ve only lost one of the previous six second leg semi-finals in the MTN 8 , winning three and drawing the other two.