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Hotto took a little longer to settle at Pirates after his move from Bidvest Wits but has become increasingly important as the season has gone on.
Not an out-and-out striker but more of a left-winger, Hotto’s contributions have been crucial to a Bucs side that has struggled with injuries to their strikers for most of the campaign.
The 30-year-old has featured in an impressive 32 games, scoring seven times and assisting on nine occasions. His current combined goal and assist ratio versus minutes played is a goal involvement every 143 minutes – roughly every game-and-a-half.
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has claimed that Orlando Pirates will be fresher than his side when the two Gauteng giants collide on Thursday.
Masandawana will play host to the Buccaneers in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium and the winner will face Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Mokwena was responding to Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer, who recently stated that Sundowns were the favourites heading into the eagerly anticipated match.
Hotto’s pace and direct running will certainly stretch the Sundowns defence, which could also potentially create more space and opportunities for the likes of Tshegofatso Mabasa and Gabadinho Mhango – Mabasa having been amongst the goals of late.
Hotto has also shown himself to be one for the big occasion for the Sea Robbers already this season by scoring in the MTN8 final win over Bloemfontein Celtic.
In terms of shackling Shalulile, Bucs coach Josef Zinnbauer may well be considering recalling Thulani Hlatshwayo to the team – the Bafana Bafana skipper started on the bench in Pirates’ 3-0 Caf Confederation Cup win over Al Ahli Benghazi last weekend but may be asked to do a man-marking job on the Namibian hot-shot.