Pirates could push Maduka further to the brink today

JZ concedes draws dent Pirates' title bid

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on the 30 January 2020 at Orlando Stadium.
Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on the 30 January 2020 at Orlando Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates are gradually becoming draw kings this season, having already amassed eight stalemates, one fewer than Swallows who boast more draws in the division thus far.

Heading into their match against an inconsistent Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium today (5pm), Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has addressed their propensity for draws by suggesting all is not lost yet, highlighting the competitiveness of the league sometimes plays a role in these draws.

“A draw isn’t always good, that’s true. But let us not forget we play against top teams in the league. The draw is not always the best result, but the season is open. We need points, but we can’t speak about the title,’’ Zinnbauer said.

The German also revealed the reason midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu has been playing at right-back lately is that usual suspects at that position, Wayde Jooste and Abel Mabaso, are nursing injuries, expecting them to be fully fit soon.

“He’s been doing well as a full-back, but we have to see what happens now because Wayde comes back soon and Mabaso comes back as well. Ndlovu was playing there because of the injuries we have as a team,’’ Zinnbauer disclosed.

Meanwhile, Celtic coach John Maduka would be eager to earn a win against Pirates to safeguard his immediate future at the club. It’s understood that the 50-year-old former club skipper is living on borrowed time amid the side’s poor form.

A fortnight ago we reported that Maduka was going to lose his job had he failed to beat SuperSport United. The 2-1 triumph over Matsatsantsa looks to have afforded him a breather, but by the look of things it’s back to square one for the Malawian-born trainer as he was beaten 1-0 by TS Galaxy in their last outing last week.

Since taking charge in July 2020, Maduka has overseen 33 matches, with nine wins, 12 draws and a dozen of defeats as well, across all competitions.

Fixtures (all at 5pm unless stated)

Today: Pirates v Celtic, Orlando Stadium; Maritzburg v Leopards, Harry Gwala Stadium; Galaxy v Swallows, Mbombela Stadium; AmaZulu v SuperSport, Jonsson Kings Park.

Tomorrow: Chippa v CPT City, Sisa Dukashe Stadium (3pm); Arrows v Baroka, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

Saturday: Celtic v Maritzburg, Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.

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