With Orlando Pirates set to return to the Moses Mabhida Stadium for their second successive match in this year’s Telkom Knockout, the technical team will be monitoring the fitness levels of two of the team’s stars.
Vincent Pule and Innocent Maela are both facing late fitness tests following their return from international duty with the South African senior national team.
Pule and Maela played the full 90 minutes as Bafana Bafana drew 1-1 with Paraguay in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Tuesday evening.
Their Pirates teammate, Thembinkosi Lorch, was an unused substitute against Paraguay, after he came on as a second-half substitute in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria last Saturday.
Speaking to the media at the Soweto Derby Press Conference on Thursday afternoon, Bucs’ head coach Milutin Sredojevic confirmed that both Pule and Maela face late fitness tests to determine their readiness for the Chiefs match.
“We have seen that two of our players (Pule and Maela) played on Tuesday a full match, and when you have that in mind, the first thing was to see what the situation is. Both of them need to pass the late fitness test in order to prove that they are ready because a match of this magnitude (and) its importance is demanding that every player is not 100 but 200% ready. So we shall see what tomorrow’s (Friday’s) last training session will tell us,” Sredojevic told the media.
Chiefs and Bucs' TKO semi-final match has been scheduled to get underway at 15h00 on Saturday.
It was at the same match venue in Durban that Lorch scored two goals, with the other strike coming from Xola Mlambo, as Bucs beat AmaZulu 3-1 in their quarter-final match on November 3.