Showdown: Bucs, United in verbal joust
ORLANDO Pirates and SuperSport United have engaged in a game of daring and double-daring each other as they head into their MTN8 showdown tomorrow night.
The Buccaneers, beaten just once the whole of last season at home, have vowed to slay the Tshwane side when the two battle it out for a place in the MTN8 final at Orlando Stadium.
Kickoff is at 7.30pm.
Matsatsantsa have promised to turn the Bucs "slaughterhouse" into a kids' playground and put cracks in the Buccaneers' seemingly invincible empire.
"They are coming to the slaughterhouse and you know what happens there," said Bucs captain Lucky Lekgwathi.
"United may have been difficult to beat recently, but they won't come out alive on Saturday. "We've worked very hard to improve our performances from the last two games."
United vice-captain Davies Nkausu, usually a reserved character, retorted: "They (Bucs) may have the home-ground advantage, but we also have advantage since we didn't concede in the first leg. They say it's a slaughterhouse, but we've beaten them there before and we will do it again."
The counterparts, however, are quite aware that the tough talk will have to be matched with improved performances, not least after the two sides played to a goalless draw in the first leg and in a midweek league match.
The unpredictable nature of knockout matches, however, means away-goal advantage could count for little for United, especially considering Bucs' recent cup record. It's a fact Rowen Fernandez acknowledges, though grudgingly.
Fernandez manned the posts in midweek, coming in place of young 'keeper Ronwen Williams, who is out with a neck injury.
"The scores are level at 0-0 and whoever makes the least mistakes on the day will be victorious," said Fernandez.
"It's always tough against Pirates. But we've won in their backyard before and they've also beaten us at home. So, there shouldn't be any mental inhibitions going into this one.
"We've managed to see just about the whole of their squad in the last two matches. We've seen all sorts of tactics their coach applies. We've seen how they play when Benni (McCarthy) and Collins (Mbesuma) are upfront. Hopefully we've seen enough and we can get the better of them."
United will rely on the experience and prowess of Sibusiso Zuma and Mabhuti Khenyeza to counter the Bucs threat upfront.