Former Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi believes Orlando Pirates have the advantage over Mamelodi Sundowns due to the expected absence of Peter Shalulile.

Pirates go into the return leg semi-final at the Peter Mokaba Stadium this afternoon with the scores at 0-0, knowing a win or a score draw will be enough to take them through to the final on the MTN8.

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And despite their uninspiring results against Sekhukhune United, Richards Bay and AmaZulu in the DStv Premiership, the club legend feels they showed enough in the win over Golden Arrows that they have enough to progress.

“I think the team played very well, everyone was underestimating Orlando Pirates and saying Sundowns are going to beat Pirates, it happened before, they came to Orlando by four or five whatever, so people were talking about history,” Lekgwathi told iDiski Times.

“Sometimes you must just forget about history, you must look at the present like now they’re playing very well with the new coach and then I think… they didn’t score a goal which I think they needed that. MTN8 is about scoring goals.

“But Sundowns will be playing under pressure because they won’t want to concede [an away goal], if we draw we still advance to the final.”

“So I think for me they did well [in the first leg]. But then in the league [the two games after Sundowns], they didn’t play well.

“I think the chopping and changing of players was maybe the downfall. You need momentum and consistency.”

“But for me I’m happy because they turned it around against Golden Arrows, if they can continue with the same spirit there’s no way Sundowns can stop them.”

The former Pirates defender went on to suggest that they are sweating in the Sundowns camp over their attacking talisman Shalulile, who is a major doubt to feature this afternoon due to injury.

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“And now as maybe Shalulile not being there, they play with one man, always Shalulile, Shalulile – now they are worried. I was with Hlompho, he was saying how is it, how are the preparations – when they do that you must know there’s something wrong.

“Shalulile is not there or he is not 100 percent, it shows that they are a one-man team, they believe in Shalulile.”

“But with Pirates I’m happy they don’t believe in one player, Lepasa was injured, he came back and started scoring, now they playing Kermit and he’s [doing well], I’m impressed.”


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