On paper, Orlando Pirates are as good as through to the last sixteen, All Stars are just a young team from the Motsepe Foundation Championship. There is nothing they can possibly do to win or even score against the mighty Buccaneers, right?
Orlando Pirates are much wiser after what happened to them a few years ago, when Maluti FET College pulled off the seemingly impossible, beating their role models 4-2.
What happened to Supersport United must have also done enough to drive a very important point home; lower league teams cannot be underestimated!
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All Stars are no push overs.
Orlando Pirates will have to tread carefully when they take the field against All Stars on Saturday. The Motsepe Foundation Championship is brimming with exceptional talent.
Led by one of Mzansi’s most promising coaching talents in Sinethemba Badela, a former Black Poison player, and Rulani Mokwena’s brother in football, they are more than capable of causing a major upset.
The talented players within their ranks include, Keletso Makgalwa and Promise Mkhuma, who recently joined on loan from Sundowns.
They also have Thabiso Sesane and Ephraim Mothibedi, both on loan from Amabhakaniya, as well as the likes of free scoring Neo Mphuthi, Lehlohonolo Mtshali, Diamond Thopola and Tshepo Mofokeng who will have a lot to prove against their former side.
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Current form is null and void.
All stars have been inconsistent with their performances in the Motsepe Foundation Championship, despite playing some good football.
Their lack of consistency has seen their chances of promotion taking a knock.
They have managed two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five matches, scoring four goals, with three conceded.
Their last two results being a 2-0 loss to Shaun Bartlett’s Cape Town Spurs, and a Goalless draw against Pretoria Callies.
But form, when it comes to the Nedbank Cup counts for nothing.
As much as Orlando Pirates are well polished and probably too strong for the young All Stars side, they will do well not to expect a walk in the park.
The Motsepe Foundation sides often pose a tactical conundrum for elite league teams, and All Stars will be no different. Orlando Pirates, contrary to popular belief, will be duly tested by All Stars.
Hopefully, Jose Riveiro will avoid the unpleasant Gavin Hunt situation.