Orlando Pirates visit TP Mazembe in a Caf Champions League last 16 second leg, as both teams will look to book their place in the group stages of this year’s competition
Bucs will go into Sunday’s game holding a 3-1 lead from the first leg and they understand the importance of protecting their lead if they are to make it to the group stages of this year’s competition.
Mazembe on the hand, will want to redeem their pride by winning convincingly especially in front their home fans, but they will need to score at least two unanswered goals to qualify.
The DRC champions have proven difficult to crack at home over the years, but Orlando Pirates have always given their opponents a tough challenge since 2002 when they met in the same competition.
The PSL reigning champions will go into this game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Chippa United midweek, but they will be banking on consistency that they have shown when playing against other African opponents.
Roger De Sa is expected to come up with a different strategy that will fit his attacking players including Sfiso Myeni and Thandani Ntshumayelo who were both injured when the two sides met over a fortnight ago.
However, the Pirates coach is also expected to stick with Onyekachi Okonkwo in the midfield and Collins Mbesuma upfront. The two were instrumental to Pirates’ victory in the first leg and they were both on the score sheet against Mazembe.
Pirates will be without Takesure Chinyama who will be out for the next four weeks, but Benni McCarthy is fit to fill his void should the coach feel there is a need.
Rooi Mahamutsa will not be available to solve Pirates defensive problems as he is not registered for the year’s competition.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- TP Mazembe have qualified for the group stages of the Caf Champions League for the past six years.
- Orlando Pirates lost to TP Mazembe in the same stage of the same tournament in 2002. Pirates held their opponents 1-1 at home, only to lose 3-1 in DRC.
- In head-to-head stats, Pirates have met Mazembe three times in the Caf Champions League, with both teams winning a game each while one game was drawn.
- Mazembe have won the Caf Champions League on four occasions, the recent being in 2009 and 2010.
- Pirates remain the only South African team to have won the Africa’s biggest club competition, dating back to 1995.