AC Leopards - Orlando Pirates Preview: Buccaneers seek to bounce back in Brazzaville

Orlando Pirates will target a win against AC Leopards to stay top of their Caf Champions League group

Nzamba, Moubhio, Miangounina, N'Kodia

Ngouelou, Drame, Ntela, Lakolo
Mouzita, Madela


Jele, Lekgwathi, Sangweni, Phungwayo
Klate, Manyisa, Masalesa, Segolela
Bacela, Erasmus

Orlando Pirates require a win to remain at the summit of their group and all but guarantee qualification for the semi-final stage of the Caf Champions League, but will have to overcome an unpredictable AC Leopards side on Saturday.

Pirates will move on to ten points in the group if they can muster a victory, which would mean that they would avoid a win at all costs clash against Al Ahly in their final group game. A result would also all but ensure a spot in the semi-final stage of the competition, as Pirates hold an advantage in goal difference over their rivals. 

The Egyptian Giants have raced back into contention in the group stages after a poor start, with two impressive wins against AC Leopards boosting them to seven points.

The trip to the Congo will only last around 36 hours for the Buccaneers, who will be without key performers Andile Jali and Thabo Matlaba, who are suspended, while Thandani Ntshumayelo and Collins Mbesuma are out injured for the match.

Siyabonga Sangweni may return for Pirates in the Congo, which will boost the side's defensive strength against the powerful strikers of AC Leopards. 

The home side will be equally determined to win their penultimate group game of the competition, as they face an improved Zamalek side in Egypt for their final group game. Leopards are still in with a shout of qualifying for the next stage, but require a win against Pirates and Zamalek, while hoping other results go their way.

Leopards will rely on the lanky frame of Arouna Drame to trouble Pirates' defence, but will need to improve after two disappointing results against Al Ahly. 


  • Pirates and AC Leopards played to a 0-0 draw in their opening group encounter earlier this year.
  • Pirates have scored eight goals during the competition and have only conceded three.
  • The Buccaneers were brought back down to earth after losing 2-1 against Zamalek in August.
  • AC Leopards have lost their last two games of the campaign against Al Ahly.
  • Pirates decided to charter their own plane to the Congo, in order to stop the postponement of their next league match against Polokwane City.