bucs like an atm

Molefi Mika

Molefi Mika

Jittery and desperate Orlando Pirates are on a wing and prayer to finish in the million rand bracket of the lucrative Absa Premiership competition.

Things are so bad that Bucs, who were once punted as possible league champions, are some kind of an ATM lately.

Teams of lesser historical background have been using Pirates to collect maximum points in order to end up in decent positions on the league table.

You can therefore expect Platinum Stars to go back to Phokeng with maximum points after their league clash at Johannesburg stadium today at 7.30pm.

Buoyant Stars, who are trying to stay as humble as possible after their historic defeat of the feared Al Ahly from Egypt at the weekend, are likely to be too hot to handle for Bhakaniya who will be without injured kingpin, midfielder Teko Modise.

To make matters worse for coach Owen da Gama, he seems to be forever let down by a midfield that fails game after game to supply his frontliners with ample and meaningful passes. This at a time when almost every opposition is bent on targeting Modise with vicious tackles that referees choose to turn a blind eye to.

As for Bucs' defensive midfielders, they have found the stage rather too big, hence the pressure on defenders who more often than not are also reduced to Premiership misfits by the opposition.

Goals have also dried up for players like young Excellent Walaza and veterans Gilbert Mushangazhike and Tico Tico Bucuane.

You can therefore expect Stars to take advantage of the Bucs' weak midfield who can expect no mercy from workaholic Stanley Kgatla, former Bucs protege Solomon Mathe and the aggressive Edward Williams.

Yes, unless Da Gama devises some tactics against his former charges they are likely to show his new team why under him they finished 11th when joining the elite league in the 2003-04 season and then moved up to seventh spot, fifth and second position last season. Now under Miguel Gamondi The Tycoons are placed seventh while Bucs are ninth.

The Ghost, no matter what, would be expecting whomever Da Gama selects not to give in to Gamondi's charges, heroics against Al Ahly or not.

Records also show that since the kickoff of the PSL with the 1996-97 season Bucs have never finished outside the top five. Has Bucs' pedigree become a thing of the past? Time will tell.

All things considered this match still has the potential of being a crowd pleaser.