Pirates set for crucial Caf Champions League match against Jwaneng Galaxy today

Orlando Pirates resume their CAF Champions League campaign today as they host Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy in the must-win second leg of their Second Preliminary Round tie at Orlando Stadium.

It’s all to play for in the highly-anticipated clash between the two Southern African outfits, with a coveted spot in the competition’s group stage up for grabs.

Form Guide 

The Buccaneers enter the decisive fixture at a slight disadvantage after falling to a 1-0 defeat in their away leg and go in looking to turn things around in what is a do-or-die clash. In a little over a week since traveling to Botswana, the Soweto Giants have taken to the field twice in domestic action, losing both matches by a narrow margin.

This recent run of results has seen them relinquish their proud home record, having begun the season with four wins in as many games at Orlando Stadium. They now meet a Jwaneng outfit that will be a little more refreshed after enjoying a 12-day rest between fixtures as they only kick off their Botswana Premier League title defence in October.

While the Champions League preliminary rounds have disrupted what would have been their off-season, Dinaledi have displayed no rustiness in the competition, doing enough in their home leg against Vipers from Uganda to go through to the current round despite suffering defeat in the second leg.

Team News 

Changes are expected in both camps for the upcoming encounter, with the possibility of a return for Jwaneng midfielder Dynamo Fredericks, who was sidelined during the first leg. Among the Bucs players, veteran midfielder Thabang Monare and defender Nkosinathi Sibisi might make a comeback to the match-day squad after sitting out the MTN8 second-leg clash against Stellenbosch.

Furthermore, striker Evidence Makgopa could make his Champions League debut after making a cameo on Sunday in what was his first appearance this season.

Players to Watch 

Away from home, the visitors will require a sound defensive effort with goalkeeper Ryan Brown crucial to their prospects as their last line of defence. The 23-year-old showcased his prowess in the first leg, making vital saves to keep the Buccaneers at bay.

Meanwhile, the right winger Daniel Msendami, whose goal in the first leg is currently the difference between the two sides, is anticipated to maintain his offensive threat alongside Omaatla Kebatho and Thabang Sesinyi. Additionally, Kitso Mangolo’s energetic presence on the flank will further bolster Jwaneng’s attacking efforts.

Head-to-Head

Jwaneng’s first-leg victory was their first win over Pirates on their third attempt, and a similar result on Friday will not only send them to the next round, but also level matters as far as head-to-head results are concerned.

The two teams previously met over two legs in the CAF Confederation Cup, where the Buccaneers claimed a 3-0 win in the away leg before closing out the tie with a 1-0 victory at Orlando Stadium.

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