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Starting XI: Pirates v Esperance

CAF Champions League

Teams: Pirates v Esperance

Date: 5 October 2013

Venue: Orlando Stadium

Orlando Pirates will be looking for a positive start to their two-legged CAF Champions League semi-final battle with Tunisian giants Esperance when they host the first-leg on Saturday in Soweto.

The Sea Robbers face arguably their stiffest test in the continental competition - facing a team that has dominated their local league for the last decade - winning 10 out of the last 13 titles on offer.

Esperance are also no stranger to the CAF Champions League latter stages, having won the competition in 2011, before finishing as runners-up in 2012.

For Pirates, it has also been a case of managing a packed schedule which has included league and domestic cup fixtures among their travels in Africa.

Pirates suffered a knock with the injury to Patrick Phungwayo but Thabo Matlaba stepped in well and has kept his place. Lucky Lekgwathi was granted leave due to family reasons and will miss out but Siyabonga Sangweni partners the in-form Rooi Mahamutsa.

Roger De Sa will also be delighted to have midfield duo Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa at his disposal for the encounter.

This is how they line:

Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Thabo Matlaba, Rooi Mahamutsa, Siyabonga Sangweni, Happy Jele, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Sifiso Myeni, Lennox Bacela, Daine Klate.

Esperance: Moez Bin Sharifa, Chamseddine Dhaouadi, Khalil Chemmam, Samah Derbali, Mohamed Ben Mansour, Harrison Afful, Hocine Ragued, Khaled Mouelhi, Youssef Blaïli, Yannick N'Djeng, Ossama Darragi.

Check: The Live Scores To Keep Up To Date

Read: Bucs' Top 5 Performers In CAF Matches

Read: How Esperance Will Approach Bucs

Follow us on Twitter: @Soccer_Laduma

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