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bucs wary

By unknown | Jan 30, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Orlando Pirates' coach Rudi Krol does not regard Bay United as a weak team and would have loved to face Umlilo with a full-strength squad tomorrow.

The Buccaneers welcome United in an Absa Premiership fixture at Johannesburg Stadium at 8pm.

Krol, whose Bucs rediscovered their winning form, face the unpredictable United without midfield magician Teko Modise, penalty specialist Lucas Thwala and quick-witted goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs due to suspension.

The Dutchman's woes have also been compounded by the injury to the resurgent Benson Mhlongo.

Pirates will be hoping for a fourth consecutive win and on recent form Umlilo appear to be the perfect candidates to help the Buccaneers attain this feat.

But Khabonina Zondo's side could spoil Bucs' party if they are taken as nonstarters.

While Krol is worried that he will miss his key players, Zondo remained adamant yesterday that Pirates will be even tougher without Modise.

Zondo, who has problems of his own in his playing personnel, is right not to single out individual players at Pirates because they have enough depth in their camp.

The affable United coach will miss the experience of Cyril Nzama, Jimmy Zakazaka and Paulus Shipanga who are nursing injuries.

Zondo would have also preferred to have Bulelani Matross for this encounter, but Hanover Park are delaying the issuing of his clearance. Matross is fit to play as he has been training hard with United for the past three weeks.

United's morale is also down going to Johannesburg after losing 1-0 at Santos in their last match.

Said Krol yesterday: "Bay United are a tough team who always fight and we should brace ourselves for a tough match. They are also not a one-man team because whoever will play will be dangerous."

Zondo returned the compliment, saying: "Pirates have the best players in the league and that is why I'm more worried even if they will be without Teko. Their coach is also a good tactician. But we are going to give them a fight of their lives."

Dikgang "Terminator" Mabalane and Thembile Kanono will be key for the hosts in the midfield, while Katlego Mphela should be dangerous in front of goal.

Siyabulela Songwiqi is a player to watch from United.


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