Bucs must be wary of on-song Highlands

Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele.
Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

High-flying Highlands Park could well do to Orlando Pirates exactly what unfancied David did to huge favourite Goliath when the two football clubs meet in the Absa Premiership fixture in Tembisa tonight (7.30pm).

Highlands will be home to Pirates at Makhulong Stadium. Pressure is on Goliath, Pirates in this case, to win this battle after a run of poor recent results.

Currently, the black and white outfit - whose fans in Johannesburg alone would cause a stampede at almost 10,000 capacity Makhulong - are perched 10th on the standing after suffering a shock 0-1 loss at Stellenbosch over the weekend. Highlands sit comfortably at the No 4 position.

The Lions of the North have unnoticeably become a real force and credit must go to Owen da Gama for instilling a sense of belief among his players. He also made them wake up to the reality that no one did them a favour by returning to PSL after spending a season in the NFD.

"Going all the way to lose by a razor thin 1-0 to SuperSport United in the final of the MTN8 was the true reflection of their capabilities," said Da Gama of his soldiers.

Strange as it may sound, Highlands can afford to lose tonight because that result will not affect their position. A win for Pirates will move them into the top eight. "It will be a tough match," said Da Gama. "But we are well structured to deal with any team and our organisation speaks for itself. We are a team that gives everything that we have, so expects nothing but war."

Pirates, meanwhile, will welcome skipper Happy Jele back from suspension. He and his defensive partners will have to deal with speedy Highlands attacker Peter Shalulile and ex-Bucs man Tendai Ndoro.

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