Orlando Pirates are oozing with confidence and are set to welcome one of their stars back as they prepare for tricky opponents in their next fixture.
Click through the gallery for Pirates’ preparations for upcoming fixture
After being on the road in their last four matches in the DStv Premiership and CAF Confederation Cup, the Buccaneers will finally be back at home for Thursday evening’s fixture against Baroka FC.
Following his suspension for the match against Stellenbosch FC, versatile player Abel Mabaso is expected to return for league action against Bakgaga, while the Limpopo outfit will be without the services of influential forward Richard Mbulu who was red-carded in the loss against Golden Arrows on the weekend.
The mood is high in the Pirates camp at the moment, with the team enjoying improved form and results after winning three of their last five matches in the different competitions and the team will be looking at Deon Hotto to continue with his impressive form after the Namibian netted two goals in the 3-0 win against Stellenbosch.
After being without a number of their players in most of their previous matches, the Buccaneers will have almost their full-strength squad to choose from for Bakgaga as some of the stars have either made their way back from injury, while others have had their off the field issues sorted.
Most notably, Bucs will have both Ben Motshwari and Gabadinho Mhango available to choose for the first time in the league after a long absence for the Malawian international.
Before returning for the first time against Stellenbosch and also played against LPRC Oilers of Liberia in the Confederations Cup, Motshwari had been a notable absentee from Bucs’ match day squads since he was suspended by the club in September after being charged by the police in what later turned out to be the midfielder having charges of assault laid against him by his girlfriend.
While Motshwari returned, the same cannot be said about Mhango who missed 12 games as he was dealing with off the field issues of his own.
The Malawian international is eyeing his first league action since he last played in August against Marumo Gallants, before being given a run in the last 15 minutes of the weekend’s match against LPRC Oilers.
Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has emphasised the importance of having all the team’s top players available to add in the quest to improve the team’s results.
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