With the 2017/18 season nearing its final stages, some players at various teams will be working on impressing their coaches in a bid to secure their futures.
Orlando Pirates is no different, as some of the players in coach Milutin Sredojevic’s team have had a change in fortune during the campaign.
Thabo Matlaba, the team’s captain, as well as vice-captain Abbubaker Mobara are some of those players. Having previously been regulars in Bucs’ line-ups, Matlaba and Mobara have dropped down the pecking order in the Serbian coach’s team.
The two players have struggled for regular game-time in recent matches for Bucs, as the Soweto giants are chasing the league title.
Click through the images for Bucs players who have been notable absentees from the starting line-up
After making an appearance as a late substitute in Bucs’ last game, which was against Golden Arrows on March 17, Matlaba will want to build from that to improve on his progress in the remaining games of the season.
In total, Matlaba has made 15 league starts for Pirates so far this season. His last start was in January, against Baroka FC at Orlando Stadium.
Out of the 24 games for Pirates so far this season, Mobara has made 11 league starts. The player's last appearance for Bucs was during a league game against Polokwane City on January 20.
With Bucs preparing for Wednesday’s league game against Bloemfontein Celtic, Matlaba and Mobara will be some of the players hoping to earn a place in Sredojevic’s starting line-up.
Musa Nyatama remains the only player with the highest number of appearances for Pirates this season with 22 starts. The midfielder is closely followed on the list by Ntsikelelo Nyauza with 21 starts, as well as Innocent Maela on 19 starts.