The Buccaneers have registered just one win in their last five games and in the process allowing log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to widen the gap
Having started the year 2021 on the back foot by losing to Mamelodi Sundowns and drawing 1-1 with Swallows FC, Pirates risk losing track of the log leaders.
They are now trailing Downs by 10 points, a situation that makes them desperate for a win, although they have played a game fewer than Masandawana.
The trip to equally struggling TTM provides an opportunity to get back on track and cover some ground in their chase of the leaders.
Currently sitting in sixth spot, victory would see Pirates climb two rungs up the standings to fourth position.
But it could be a tricky assignment given that their hosts are also eager to correct their difficult run of form.
|Game||Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila vs Orlando Pirates|
|Date||Wednesday, January 13|
|Time||17:00 AM Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App||SuperSport’s PSL channel 202|
Squads & Team News
Tshakhuma’s bid to improve their fortunes has been dealt a big blow following the departure of striker Justin Shonga.
The Zambia international ended his three-month stay in Limpopo by joining Cape Town City on Tuesday.
Tshakhuma coach Joel Masutha will have to find an immediate solution within the group of players he is working with ahead of Pirates’ visit.
This leaves more weight for goals falling on the shoulders of Rhulani Manzini, who is the club’s top goalscorer with two goals.
Some Tshakhuma players, like forward Lerato Lamola, as well as midfielders Thabo Rakhale, Mogakolodi Ngele, Thabo Mnyamane and Edgar Manaka, will be expected to provide the much-needed experience to match the Buccaneers if selected to play.
Alfred Ndengane will be coming up against his former paymasters after being released by Pirates at the end of last season.
Pirates will be without co-captain Thulani Hlatshwayo who is suspended for this match after accumulating his fourth yellow card of the season in the draw against Swallows last weekend.
Fellow skipper Happy Jele is expected to step in at the heart of the defence.
While Hlatshwayo is out, the Buccaneers have received a major boost following the return to full fitness of goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
The Ghana number one missed the Soweto giants’ last two league matches and a Caf Confederation assignment due to injury.
In his absence, Wayne Sandilands guarded goal but was breached in their last two games in which they failed to win.
Zinnabauer also welcomes back attacker Vincent Pule, who missed the hosting of Swallows due to suspension.
Last week, Pirates confirmed that forwards Zakhele Lepasa and Tshegofatso Mabasa, as well as defender Abel Mabaso, are not yet near returning from injury.
But Zinnabauer might not be worrying himself much as he has Frank Mhango to play upfront together with Jean-Marc Makusu.
The two are still bit-part players so far this season and yet to start together, but there is an anticipation of a strong combination between them.
In the last two league games, Zinnbauer has started Terrence Dzvukamanja as a centre-striker but after that move failed to yield any positive results, the German could be forced to change.
A defeat for Pirates will see them making it a tall order for themselves to catch up with Sundowns.
They would be eager to avoid dropping points, especially since they are a limping side that has won just once in their last five matches.
A defeat or even a draw would invite more pressure on the Buccaneers who have won three league games, drawn five and lost just once so far this season.
It would be the first time ever for them to play Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, who are in their debut PSL season after purchasing the top-flight league status of Bidvest Wits.
Tshakhuma currently sit in position 11 on the log and have not tasted victory in their last five league matches, where they registered four draws and a defeat.
Overall, they have played six draws, a record they share with Golden Arrows in the league so far this season.
The Venda side has won just once in nine games and have lost twice.