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Pirates To Be Boosted By Hotto’s Return

  • May 16, 2024
  • 2 min read
Pirates To Be Boosted By Hotto’s Return

Orlando Pirates’ versatile workhorse Deon Hotto is expected to be available for a return to the side, although a full recovery is guaranteed for the Nedbank Cup final, according to Sportswire sources.

Hotto suffered a nosebleed clash during the Nedbank Cup semifinal against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium earlier this month. Coach Jose Riveiro substituted him in the 19th minute, with Innocent Maela taking his place at left-back.

Hotto has been exceptional in this role, often pushing forward and adding numbers on the left flank. He’s missed the last two matches, where Maela has been reinstated at left-back or deployed in a three-man defensive line.

His speed and power will be crucial when Pirates face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final at Mbombela Stadium on 1 June. Despite Maela’s experience and captaincy, Hotto has been the preferred choice at left-back. He’s been effective when called upon and even has the versatility to play on the right side.

Pirates are already depleted on the left side. Paseko Mako, who can also play right-back, is injured alongside right backs Bandile Shandu and Thabiso Lebitso. This has opened the door for Thabiso Monyane to earn a starting role since Lebitso suffered a collarbone injury against Royal AM a few weeks ago.

Hotto, who joined Pirates from Bidvest Wits in the 2020/21 season, has featured in 38 matches across all competitions this season, scoring six goals – not bad for a player operating from deeper positions.

The former Golden Arrows and Bloemfontein Celtic wingback has also won three MTN8 cups and the Nedbank Cup with the club since his move to Pirates. Notably, he even scored against Celtic in the Wafa Wafa Cup 2021/22 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Picture courtesy of Orlando Pirates

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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