The match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates is expected to be a thriller given what’s at stake. But Innocent Maela says they know how they’ll approach the game.
Cape Town – Orlando Pirates’ captain Innocent Maela says they’ll “play the match, and not the occasion” when they host log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Pirates have been enjoying a purple patch, winning their last three games on the bounce. A streak that has revived their aspirations to finish in second-place.
But they’ll meet their biggest competitor in the Premiership when they welcome runaway champions Sundowns to Orlando on Saturday (tomorrow) afternoon.
The record five-time successive champions are on course to bag their sixth title as they lead the race by 21 points, 24 ahead of the fourth-placed Pirates.
And that’s why the two teams’ clash is expected to be a thriller given what’s at stake. But Maela argues that they know how they’ll approach the game.
“From the player’s perspective, each and every game that we play we want to win and get better. For us as players, we want to focus on ourselves,” he said.
“We want to stick to the game-plan and ensure that we play the match, and not the occasion. We are concentrating on ourselves and trying to get better.”
It will take some doing from Pirates to derail Sundowns from their tracks as Rhulani Mokwena’s men are on a record 14 game winning run in the league.
The Brazilians, moreover, are confident heading to the game, having beaten Pirates 2-0 in the reverse fixture late last year in their third clash this season.
But with new signings Souaibou Marou and Makhehlene Makhaula already training with the team, these players could be Pirates’ trump card against Sundowns.