Orlando Pirates Wolves Premier League

Pirates stars Mofokeng and Saleng. Image from Instagram@vino_snap

ICYMI: Orlando Pirates’ surprise key man for the Soweto Derby

it’s never too late to make a comeback.

Orlando Pirates Wolves Premier League

Pirates stars Mofokeng and Saleng. Image from Instagram@vino_snap

Monnapule Saleng could make a surprise impact for Orlando Pirates against Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby.

A season to forget for Saleng, so far

Last season’s player of the season has struggled to reach the dizzy heights and unrealistic expectations that followed a stunning 2022/23 campaign. The 25-year-old has only made 12 league appearances this term, scoring once. It pales in comparison to his 15 goals and 11 assists from 30 appearances in all competitions last term. Mentioning Saleng as someone who can make a surprise impact in the Derby feels strange, given the ability in his boots. Both Saleng and Zakhele Lepasa have found themselves on the fringes in 2024.

Superstar can still contribute to the Orlando Pirates’ cause

Teenage starlet Relebohile Mofokeng was the goal-scorer in Pirates’ midweek 1-1 draw with Cape Town Spurs. He, Patrick Maswanganyi and Karim Kimvuidi have started the last two games as an attacking midfield trio and that combination is unlikely to be disrupted. However, Saleng was a starter against Sundowns in a 1-1 draw in February so the coach still trusts him in big games. He’s unlikely to start against Chiefs but a big impact off the bench against an ageing Sifiso Hlanti is on the cards.

Orlando Pirates Saleng Kaizer Chiefs
Monnapule Saleng of Orlando Pirates challenges Sifiso Hlanti of Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby. Photo: BackpagePix


26-year-old Bucs defender Olisa Ndah has experienced all types of strikers in his time. The challenge of facing 19-year-old Wandile Duba on Saturday will be a relatively new one but it doesn’t faze the Super Eagles man. He’s responded to some positive claims from the Chiefs starlet as we build up to South Africa’s premier footballing fixture.

“I’m not worried about what the little guy said, I think he is more excited,” Ndah told reporters.

So, I’m just looking forward to the next game on Saturday, we just have to deliver.

Ndah and the rest of the Buccaneers camp will be eager to respond to the disappointment of their 1-1 draw with rock-bottom Cape Town Spurs. What better time to do that than in the Derby?

Kaizer Chiefs Orlando Pirates Soweto Derby
Chiefs and Pirates fans. Image: BackpagePix

Meanwhile, hit up James Freemantle for more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game.

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