Historic first ever meeting between Soweto giants and minnows from Cape Town
Benni McCarthy and Andile Jali have been included in the Bucs squad for the clash at the Athlone Stadium.
McCarthy has been missing since playing for Bafana Bafana against Brazil in early September, while Jali has been out for the last few weeks after being injured in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinal defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic last month.
Both players are likely to start on the bench as Bucs seek to close the four-point gap between themselves and league leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
The Telkom Knockout final last Saturday meant Pirates have been inactive for 11 days, though they did get in some match practice with a 3-2 friendly victory over Moroka Swallows on Friday.
“We needed to play those types of friendlies so that we could gauge where the team is at, in terms of focus and fitness,” Pirates coach Roger de Sa says.
“The result was not so much our focus, we took the game seriously because we had a break of 11 days and needed to get back into the thick of things. In situations like these the players tend to lose the rhythm at times, but I could see in our practice matches that the boys are still focussed.
“Playing against Chippa in their home ground could be a tough assignment, but I am confident in the guys. I believe they will be ready to fight for maximum points on Wednesday night,” De Sa added.
Pirates will be without defender Siyabonga Sangweni and Sifiso Myeni, who are suspended for this clash.
Chippa are hoping that Pirates will have one eye on Saturday’s crucial Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs and that the loss of focus might see them spring a surprise.
Veteran midfielder Brent Carelse says the players are confident of causing an upset.
“Our position is not the most convincing and facing Bucs where their focus is also on the Soweto derby is the right time to spring a surprise. We are playing at home and that gives us a chance to do well,” Carelse says.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- This will be the first ever competitive league fixture between Chippa United and Orlando Pirates.
Pirates have performed well away from home this season, recording four wins, one draw and one defeat from six matches on the road.
- Chippa have recorded two wins, two draws and two losses from their six home matches so far this season.