The two giants meet for an Absa Premiership encounter on Saturday afternoon at the Loftus Versveld Stadium, with plenty of fireworks expected on the field given their recent history.
In their last 10 league fixtures, Sundowns have enjoyed some dominance having won six, with Pirates having won just three, while only one ended in a stalemate.
The Brazilians’ coach Pitso Mosimane is once again relishing the challenge of coming up against a side he has previously said “is the only team that goes tow-to-toe with Sundowns”, and admits they will face a stiff test in Tshwane this weekend.
“We have the direct opposite of what we usually get, to the extent that sometimes they [Pirates] are even pushing us back – beautiful, a team that attacks,” said Mosimane ahead of the clash.
“They are a transitional team, they’ve got lots of speed. Once they cut the ball in their own half they come out with so much pace it’s not funny.
“We need to look after that because that is one of their major strengths. They also play, they’ve got a lot of interplay [ability] – very good.
“They’ve got very good players, visually. From Memela to Matlaba … Okay, he’s suspended, but all the other attackers are exciting.”
‘Jingles’ also believes Bucs coach Micho Sredojevic has instilled a particular style of play into the team and boasts a wealth of depth at his disposal, which could prove tricky for Downs.
“The challenge is that you never know which teams comes up, because they have a lot of players – they use a lot of players, a lot of personnel. Even at the back, they use a lot of players, so you never know what’s coming to you,” he added.
“To show that they are doing the right thing, there’s uniformity in the way they play, it doesn’t matter who they play, which is a sign of a team that has found a way of playing. Pirates have found their way of playing.”