Orlando Pirates, under Jose Riveiro appears to have turned the corner this season. The Spanish coach has pinned his hopes on a number of Bucs players, who have been mainstays for the Soweto giants this season.
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The goals have been pouring in for Riveiro’s men in recent times, with nine goals scored in their last three matches.
Even in the time Pirates were not scoring as freely, the Buccaneers ensured that they were defensively solid and as a result have conceded the third least amount of goals this season (13) with only Mamelodi Sundowns (7) and Richards Bay (10) conceding less.
The one player who has been instrumental in Pirates defensive rigidness is Nkosinathi Sibisi.
Under Riveiro, the 27-year-old has featured in every single match for the Buccaneers this campaign and has made a seamless transition from Golden Arrows to Pirates.
Deon Hotto and Innocent Maela, with 21 appearances respectively are just behind Sibisi in terms of consistency at Pirates, with both players experiencing a new lease on life at the club.
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Interesting to note is that Miguel Timm, who was roped in from Marumo Gallants at the start of the campaign, has made the defensive midfield position his own at Pirates.
Barring the few niggles he has battled with this campaign, the 31-year-old has given Pirates’ midfield some much-needed stability and fluidity this campaign.
A surprise regular feature under Riveiro has been Monnapule Saleng.
The 24-year-old was given a surprise start against Sundowns at the start of the season and hasn’t looked back since. He is currently Pirates’ top goalscorer this campaign with seven strikes to his name and is being mentioned as a potential candidate for player of the season.
Saleng is also Pirates’ top assist provider with three so far this season.
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