form sides clash

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Engen Santos, fresh from their meritorious win over Moroka Swallows, face Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership game at Athlone Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Santos come face to face with the Bucs, who are in a mean and menacing mood.

If recent form is any indication, this one is bound to be a thriller.

The two have registered praiseworthy victories in their midweek games, Santos humiliating Swallows 4-1 and Pirates humbling Sundowns 3-1.

So it is not going to be an easy assignment for both sides but the game will be won by those who take their chances.

Santos manager Yusuf Gester said they were excited to register an away win in the second round and it has motivated the players.

"Playing at home and before the home crowd should be an added incentive to the players," he said.

"The guys are confident to win against Pirates. Though it won't be that easy, everybody is ready and looking forward to the game."

While the wind is often a major factor for visitors to Cape Town, Gester said: "We're not going to pray for the wind to blow, but for a win before our home crowd."

He said they have a number of youngsters in the squad, and they hope that they will mature into fine players by the end of the season.

The likes of Erwin Isaacs, Eleazar Rodgers, Thando Mngomeni and Mogogi Gabonamong have become deadly in front of goal.

Pirates' spokesman Mickey Modisane said the team was looking well, though it was early days.

"It's going to be a test of character against Santos. They are a young team, unpredictable and too tricky. But we've scored eight goals in three matches and that shows that there is something positive we're doing," he said.

The side's captain, Mlungisi "Pro" Gumbi said a win was not only for the team, but for the supporters, legends and management.

"Everybody is motivated and fighting for a place in the team. This is my first season with Pirates and it will be good for us to win silverware.

"We're all positive and hungry for glory, and I hope we go with the same approach against our opponents on the day, although it is not going to be easy," said Gumbi.

Players such as Excellent Walaza, Bennett Chenene, Lindokuhle Mkhwanazi and Gilbert Mushangazhike will lead the Pirates charge.