Having already exited two cup competitions in the first round this season, Orlando Pirates are looking to turn their fortunes for the better today as they begin their Telkom Knockout campaign at home.
The Buccaneers will welcome Stellenbosch FC to the Orlando Stadium this evening in what will be the first ever match between the two sides in their history.
As history is to be made when the two teams take to the field at 18h00, Bucs will have in the back of their minds the thoughts of their early exits in the MTN8 and CAF Champions League respectively already this season.
While Pirates caretaker coach Rhulani Mokwena has emphasised on the importance for the Soweto giants to win a trophy, the 2011 TKO champions should be wary of their opponents from the Western Cape – who despite being on the wrong end of the Absa Premiership log – have been showing signs of improvement in recent matches.
Steve Barker’s side won for the first time this season with their 2-0 victory over Polokwane City in their last match before the break, following respective 2-2 draws against Golden Arrows and Black Leopards from earlier matches.
With Pirates seemingly having defensive concerns, as the team has already conceded 12 goals from seven matches in the league, they will have to keep an eye on Iqraam Rayners and Waseem Isaacs – the Stellenbosch duo who have picked up form and scoring goals.
Rayners scored a goal in each of his team’s last two matches, while Isaacs has already netted four goals so far in the campaign.