Orlando Pirates are expected to land in Conakry, Guinea this evening ahead of their must-win final CAF Champions League group stage clash against home side Horoya AC on Saturday afternoon.
And it would appear they will be without goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane and defender Caio Marcelo for the fixture. The Buccaneers made life difficult for themselves last Friday night after they were held to a surprise 2-2 draw by bottom of the table Platinum FC from Zimbabwe – and Pirates had to come from two goals down to earn the precious point thanks to goals from Thembinkosi Lorch and Augustine Mulenga in the 81st and 87th minute respectively.
Mabokgwane was on the bench for Pirates with Wayne Sandilands keeping his place between the sticks, while Marcelo was the shock inclusion in a three-man centre back pairing alongside Alfred Ndengane and captain Happy Jele.
The 21-year-old Brazilian hadn’t played a single game for the Buccaneers since January 5 against Highlands Park in a league match until then.
Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic is likely to restore Innocent Maela to left back and probably opt for a back four – Ndengane and Jele in the centre, while Asavela Mbekile is expected to plug in at right back.
The SA team must beat second-placed Horoya to join leaders and reigning champions Esperance in the quarter-finals.