Chippa hope to regain winning form against Bucs after steady slide down the table
Chippa United will attempt to rescue their flagging PSL fortunes against Orlando Pirates at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tonight (7.30pm). The Chilli Boys are in the middle of a winless run, which has seen them slide down the table.
They have gone without a win in five league games, with their most recent result being a 2-1 defeat against Cape Town City at the weekend.
That loss was the Chilli Boys’ first defeat at home this season.
The team last tasted victory when they beat league rookies Baroka 4-1 away last month.
Coach Dan Malesela said his team needed to be more solid at the back as they had been conceding unnecessary goals.
But, more importantly, they need to do something about getting the ball in the net.
“The biggest of it all is to see us converting our chances. We need to stop conceding,” he said.
United have dropped to 10th place on the log with nine points from eight matches.
Pirates will be out to collect a second consecutive win against Chippa.
In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Chippa have met in six league matches since the 2012-13 season.
Chippa have claimed three victories compared to the two for the Buccaneers, while one match was a draw.
Last season, Pirates beat Chippa 4-1 in the first leg of the league but the Chilli Boys got revenge with a 2-0 home win in the return leg.
Pirates interim coach, Augusto Palacios, looks set to award Jackson Mabokgwane for keeping a clean sheet against Free State Stars at the weekend with another start tonight.
Mabokgwane made his Pirates debut against Free State Stars, coming in for an indisposed Brighton Mhlongo.
“He [Mhlongo] came back to training today [yesterday]. Remember what is my philosophy. If a player performs, then you play. It does not matter if you were in the national team. If he keeps a clean sheet, then he is OK. He [Mhlongo] needs to wait,” Palacios said yesterday.
The Peruvian is so far proving to be the fixer at Pirates, with two victories in as many matches since taking over from Muhsin Ertugral.
Both wins have come at the Orlando Stadium, but now Bucs are away for the first time with their coach and face a Chippa side that has fallen from grace after a great start to the campaign.
“It will be a difficult game, because apart from them not doing well, I think they play attacking football. Take nothing away from them, they can surprise you,” Palacios said.
“Home or away, Pirates need to play football and have a winning mentality. We cannot go away from home and play for a point. We are always playing for a win.”