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Mamelodi Sundowns v Orlando Pirates – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Mamelodi Sundowns face Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday.

Nedbank Cup Final

Mamelodi Sundowns face Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday. Sundowns are chasing a third trophy for the season after lifting the DSTV Premiership and the African Football League. The Sea Robbers are aiming for a domestic double having also won two cup competitions last term under Jose Riveiro.

Mamelodi Sundowns Form

Sundowns have an incredible league season, only losing in round 30 to be denied an invincible league season. They exited the CAF Champions League in the semi-finals after losing 1-0 at home to Esperance. Six wins followed in the next seven matches including a 2-1 win away at Stellenbosch FC in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

Their goals dried up slightly as the season came to a finish. They won 1-0 at Stellenbosch in the league thanks to a second-half goal. They then scored very late to rescue a 1-1 draw at TS Galaxy in a heated affair. Downs’ last match saw a 60th-minute goal conceded to lose 1-0 at home to Cape Town City. That loss put a slight dampener on their title celebrations.

Mamelodi Sundowns Team News

Rhulani Mokwena has two key players back from injury Teboho Mokoena and Lucas Ribeiro. Both are expected to be in the starting XI. Peter Shalulile played no part in the defeat to Cape Town City but should be available to lead the line.

Both Grant Kekana and Aubrey Modiba were rested for the last match and are set to return to the backline. Rivaldo Coetzee or Mosa Lebusa may partner with Kekana in preference to Mothobi Mvala. Marcello Allende was also given a breather last time out and is set to be in the starting XI.

Mamelodi Sundowns Motivation

The Brazilians will aim to control this match both with and without the ball. They will try to score first and force Pirates to expose themselves.

One ahead, Sundowns could drop off and absorb pressure. The only important thing is to lift this trophy.

Orlando Pirates Form

The Sea Robbers finished second in the PSL table to secure a place in next season’s CAF Champions League. They strung together a seven-match winning streak with 23 goals scored. That run included a 3-1 win at Chippa United in the semi-final in this competition.

After beating Chippa in a league match, they suffered a blip in the race for a top-two finish. A 1-0 home loss to 15th-placed Richards Bay was followed by a 1-0 defeat at TS Galaxy. Their final league match saw a 1-1 draw at home with SuperSport United. A loss for Stellenbosch FC meant that a one-point haul was enough to finish second.

Orlando Pirates Team News

Pirates are without long-term injury victim Paseko Mako at fullback. Tapelo Xoki is ruled out in central defence after knee surgery. Olisa Ndah is expected to start alongside either Nkosinathi Sibisi or youngster Thabiso Sesane. Right back Thabiso Lebitso is injured.

Further forward, Thalente Mbatha could start ahead of the doubtful Miguel Timm in central midfield. Kabelo Dlamini and Monnapule Saleng are competing for the slot on the right wing.

Orlando Pirates Motivation

Bucs are one of the few teams who take the game to Sundowns. They will play to win in 90 minutes.

Coach Jose Riveiro is chasing a fourth trophy in the last two years. His side will attack down the wings and play at a high tempo.

Key Stats

Mamelodi Sundowns have lost just 1 of their last 53 league matches

Mamelodi Sundowns have scored just 5 goals in their last 6 matches

Orlando Pirates have won 7 of their last 10 matches

Orlando Pirates have failed to score in 4 of their last 5 meetings vs Sundowns


A tight match is expected. It’s hard to see Sundowns losing in 90 minutes. A draw or narrow 1-0 win is expected for the Brazilians.

Best Bet: Mamelodi Sundowns win (90 mins)

Value Bet: Mamelodi Sundowns win to zero (90 minutes)

Correct Score: Sundowns 1-0 Pirates

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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