Pirates have failed to win three Cup finals already this season, but they will be looking to start well against Thanda Royal Zulu at the Mhlathuze Stadium on Saturday
|THANDA ROYAL ZULU
Sekete, Maselwa, Zitha, Luthuli
Hlophe, Mashishi, Fikizolo, Spandiel
Gumede, Jele, Gcaba, Matlaba
Masalesa, Segolela, Motshegwa, Ngoma
Orlando Pirates will be looking to avoid the disappointment of last season, when they travel to Mhlathuze Stadium to face Thanda Royal Zulu in the Nedbank Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The Buccaneers were humiliated by second division side Maluti FET College in the last 32 away from home, but they will be aiming to put that behind them by beating AmaBhubesi this season.
This is the only piece of silverware that seems possible for the men from Parktown with the league almost beyond their reach, especially now that they trail Kaizer Chiefs by 19 points.
On the other hand, Thanda Royal Zulu are struggling in the National First Division (NFD) this season. Thami Ngubane's charges are currently 14th on the NFD log, but they need no added motivation to do well against the mighty Buccaneers.
Pirates fans are expected to outnumber those of Thanda in the stands, but the home boys know that getting results will be more important on the day.
Coach Eric Tinkler might decide to rest some of his regular players, as they have a very important game against Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday.
The likes of Tlou Segolela and Lennox Bacela are expected to get a run against Thanda to regain their match fitness having spent some time on the bench.
Bacela, who scored 11 goals in all competitions since joining Pirates, lost his place in the starting line-up late last year and the arrival of Helder Pelembe has made his situation even worse.
Thanda Royal Zulu will be hoping for their leading goalscorer Mhlengi Cele to put one past Pirates on the day, and possibly win the game.
Cele has already scored four goals in the NFD league this term, and adding to that tally could also help him get a PSL contract at the end of the season.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Pirates won the 2011 Nedbank Cup edition, beating Black Leopards 3-1 in the final.
- Bucs were humbled 4-1 by Maluti FET in the last 32 of this competition last season.
- The Nedbank Cup has seen a few upsets since its inception - AmaTuks beating Chiefs in 2011.
- All three Soweto clubs - Swallows, Chiefs and Pirates - have their name on the Nedbank Cup trophy.