After claiming four points out of six in two games against fellow title-contenders, Orlando Pirates will be looking to collect the maximum tally as they turn their attention towards relegation candidates Black Leopards.
The log-leaders square off against the 12th-placed side at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night, just four days after a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Bidvest Wits over the weekend.
They had earlier shared the spoils with Mamelodi Sundowns who – at the time – were occupying the summit of the league table.
Their upcoming fixtures pose a different challenge, as they meet yet another team desperate to leave the red zone in 15th placed Free State Stars just days after facing Leopards.
Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic noted the unique challenge posed by the two teams looking to climb into safety.
“Black Leopards and Free State Stars are fighting relegation. I’ve called this ‘three doors of hell’ that we need to open in order to open the doors of heaven,” he said after the 1-0 win at Wits.
“The first door has been opened, and let us see what will happen with the two remaining games ahead of us this week.”
Under the Serb, the Buccaneers have met the top-flight returnees twice – first in the reverse league fixture in Polokwane where the Soweto giants emerged victorious, then in the first round of the Nedbank Cup in Thohoyandou, where they were stunned on penalties.
With the league title now remaining as Pirates’ only chance of silverware in the current season, Sredojevic says there is belief around the camp that the club can end what’s closing in on five years without a trophy.
“All of us believe, but we don’t want to speak about it. We want to focus on our next game on Wednesday. There are five big matches ahead of us.”
Pirates will be boosted by the return of three key players who were not part of the triumph over Wits.
Thembinkosi Lorch returns after serving out a one-match suspension, alongside Vincent Pule and Xola Mlambo who are available for selection, having both recovered from injury.
Orlando Pirates vs Black Leopards: Head-to-head
League matches only
Black Leopards 1-2 Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates 4-1 Black Leopards
Black Leopards 0-4 Orlando Pirates
Black Leopards 1-0 Black Leopards
Black Leopards 0-2 Orlando Pirates
Kick off and where to watch
Date: Wednesday, 10 April
Kick-off time: 19:30
Venue: Orlando Stadium, Soweto
TV and live stream: Supersport 4