Preview: Pirates vs Maritzburg United

FNB Stadium will be the venue to host Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United on Tuesday evening. These teams are currently in fifth and sixth position respectively on the Absa Premiership tog table.

The Mighty Buccaneers come into this encounter on the back of a goalless draw away to the University of Pretoria. While, the Team of Choice will be looking to do better than their previous league meeting where they went down to Moroka Swallows – a match the KZN outfit lost 2-1 having taken the lead courtesy of a Thokozani Sekotlolong strike (in the 28th minute). The Dube Birds responded in the second half with two late goals from the experienced Siyabonga Nomvethe.

For United, the defeat was only their third in what has proven to be one of the best starts to the league campaign for Steve Khompela’s men.

Current Form – last 5 matches

Maritzburg United have been one of the surprise teams of the season. The team has been quietly going about their business; with many not paying much attention to their commendable start to the 2014/15 campaign.

United has already claimed the scalps of the likes of; Telkom Knockout finalists Platinum Stars (3-1) and SuperSport United (4-1). And have given a good account of themselves in the 1-all draw away to Mamelodi Sundowns and their narrow 1-0 defeat to current log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

In terms of their current form, United have not won in three matches however, in the 15 points available on offer in the last five, the KZN-based outfit has collected 8 points.

Out of the 12 matches played so far this season, United has won 4; lost 3 and drew 5. Scoring 15 and conceding only 9 goals – ironically, the same tally as Orlando Pirates.

The history books suggest a Pirates victory however, stats and history have never won football matches.

Pirates and United have locked horns 16 times (14 league + 2 Cup) since 2006, with the Mighty Buccaneers dominating in matches between these two teams having registered 11 wins, 4 defeats and only 1 draw.

United come into this clash looking to overturn Bucs’ recent dominance which has seen them lose to the men from Orlando three times on the trot.

– 3 May 2014: Maritzburg United 1-2 Orlando Pirates (Nedbank Cup)
– 15 April 2014: Orlando Pirates 1-0 Maritzburg United (League)
– 27 November 2013: Maritzburg United 0-1 Orlando Pirates (League)

The Team of Choice last tasted victory over the Buccaneers last year on the 18th May, when they came from a goal down to win 3-2. That victory was United’s first and only victory away to Pirates since 2006.

Quick One-Twos – in Numbers

• 1 – the number of draws in this encounter since 2006. A 1-all draw on the 4th November 2009

• 2.5 – the average number of goals scored in matches between these two sides.

• 3 – the average number of yellow cards in matches between these two sides.

• 4 – the number of red cards in matches between these two sides since 2006.

• 5 – the highest scoring match between these two sides, ending 2-3 for United (18 May 2013).

• 6 – the number of matches Orlando Pirates will play in three weeks.

• 482 – the number of passes Martizburg United averages a match.

• 599 – the number of passes Orlando Pirates averages a match.

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