New Orlando Pirates Lennox Bacela is expected to start upfront for the Buccaneers when they take on AC Leopards in the CAF Champions at the Orlando Stadium tonight.
Following Benni McCarthy’s retirement and Takesure Chinyama’s release at the end of the season, Pirates only have Ndumiso Mabena, Collins Mbesuma, Thulasizwe Mbuyane and Rudolf Bester upfront, and Mbuyane is already set to miss out due to fitness.
But with the four strikers failing to perform at their peak for Pirates in the league last season, Pirates coach Roger de Sa is expected to start with Bacela upfront, with the player putting in some solid performances since joining the Sea Robbers.
Bacela has already shown that he has a knack for goals, when he netted a brace in the Kings Cup match against Matlama FC of Lesotho recently.
De Sa has been impressed with Bacela, but he couldn’t confirm to the Siya crew if Bacela would start tonight.
“He scored two goals for us against Matlama and he has been looking sharp. Are we going to start him? Let’s wait and see,” said De Sa.
Meanwhile, defender Rooi Mahamutsa is expected to partner Ayanda Gcaba in the centre of the defence. Mahamutsa will replace captain Lucky Lekgwathi who is suspended for this game following the red card he received in the match against DR Congo’s TP Mazembe.
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will clash on July 27, with the title of 2013 Carling Black Label Cup champions up for grabs.
By Khaya Ndubane
Follow Khaya on Twitter: @Lakhandu