Midweek PSL Preview: Orlando Pirates desperate for victory, Wits and Kaizer Chiefs eye top spot

On Tuesday night, a busy week of Premier Soccer League (PSL) action begins. Orlando Pirates will look to return to winning ways in the league, following the weekend’s Nedbank Cup success. Since, being appointed at the helm of the Soweto giants, coach Kjell Jonevret has struggled to find a winning formula, but if Saturday’s performance was anything to go by, Pirates may have a bright future ahead.

Midweek PSL Preview: Orlando Pirates desperate for victory, Wits and Kaizer Chiefs eye top spot

Midweek PSL Preview: Orlando Pirates desperate for victory, Wits and Kaizer Chiefs eye top spot

However, Pirates will not have everything their way as Maritzburg United lie in wait.

While the Team of Choice have been struggling of late, the departure of coach Roger de Sa and the re-appointment of assistant coach Fadlu Davids to the Maritzburg hot seat on an interim basis, has proven to be a masterstroke. Maritzburg claimed three valuable points against Ajax Cape Town in their last outing, keeping their top eight aspirations alive.

Nonetheless, Maritzburg will have a tough outing as they travel to Soweto and will be without defender Kwanda Mngonyama, who is suspended for the clash. Pirates know the importance of a win as they are in danger of falling into a relegation dog fight and three points will come as a huge relief for their supporters.

Meanwhile, in Tuesday’s other action, Bidvest Wits will welcome the high-flying Golden Arrows to the Bidvest Stadium. Arrows have been pushing well above their weight all season and currently find themselves occupying sixth position on the PSL log. Clinton Larsen’s men will look to take full advantage of a Wits side who are forced to contend with a congested schedule.

The Students go into the encounter fatigued and low in confidence following elimination in the Nedbank Cup against National First Division (NFD) side Jomo Cosmos, before being held to a goalless draw by Egyptian side Smouha at home in the Caf Confederation Cup.

On the other hand, Abafana Bes'thende have had contrasting fortunes of late. Most notably, the KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit stunned Tshwane giants Mamelodi Sundowns on the weekend. Arrows’ pacey attack has been their strongest weapon this season and will certainly be a threat for the Wits defence.

Gavin Hunt’s men know all too well that nothing less than three points will suffice on Tuesday, as they look to keep within breathing distance of the PSL summit.

Nonetheless, with fellow title contenders Cape Town City only in action on Thursday, Wits could go top temporarily.

Lastly, on Wednesday night, Kaizer Chiefs travel to Bloemfontein to take on a rejuvenated Bloemfontein Celtic side.

Phunya Sele Sele have been on the rise since Luc Eymael took over the reins at the club. Whether or not Eymael will finally be able to take his seat on the technical bench remains a mystery as he's still involved in an ongoing battle with Polokwane City.

With the PSL title race moving towards its conclusion, Chiefs know victory is essential as they look to remain amongst the chasing pack. 

Amakhosi go into the match, knowing that they hold an advantage over their fellow title contenders having gone 12 matches unbeaten.

Chiefs will be wary of the dangers that Siwelele may pose and with players such as Lyle Lakay and Musa Nyatama in their ranks, they cannot be underestimated. Celtic will also be buoyed by their progression into the quarter finals of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday.

However, despite Chiefs' late victory over ABC Motsepe League side Acornbush United, coach Steve Komphela would not have been impressed by the overall performance his side in Mpumalanga.

Komphela may be tempted to give Venezuelan attacker Gustavo Paez a rare start on Wednesday. The 26-year-old netted a late brace to help Chiefs overcome Acornbush United.

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