teko mind games?

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

AmaZulu will not be lulled into relaxing at the prospect of meeting Orlando Pirates minus ace midfielder Teko Modise on Sunday.

This was the view of Usuthu defender Belux Kasonga, who feels reports that Modise won't play are just a ruse.

The two sides meet in an Absa Premiership match at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu at 3.30pm.

"We are not going to fall for their [Pirates'] mind games because I know that Teko will play on Sunday," said Kasonga

"They want to win this match to go into the festive break with an improved position on the log, so they will not leave their star player out.

"I don't want to talk about Teko's injury, but I think he will be ready for the game."

Modise did not play when Pirates demolished Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 in midweek because of a knee injury he sustained in last Saturday's Telkom Knockout final against Ajax Cape Town.

Mickey Modisane, Bucs' spokesman, confirmed to Sowetan yesterday that Modise will not be ready to play on Sunday.

AmaZulu managed a point in Cape Town against Santos on Wednesday and this has motivated them.

Clive Barker's side went into that match on the back of two wins against Bidvest Wits and Lamontville Golden Arrows.

They are determined to wind up the year on a high with a win at home.

Though their forwards fired blanks against Santos, they have the competence to regroup this time round.

The dynamic Collins Chabalala is expected to lead their attack, and should be ably assisted by Dumisani Ngwenya.

Usuthu should be lively in the midfield where the inspirational Nhlanhla Zwane operates.

At the back they will rely on Pere Ariweriyai and Sanele Majola.

Thembile Kanono, who had a storming game when he stood in for Modise in midweek, could turn the heat on AmaZulu.

Pirates will also be without influential midfielder Dikgang Mabalane, who got a red card against Celtic.

Tlou Segolela is favored over Lebohang Mokoena to replace Mabalane on the right flank.

Bennett Chenene is fit to play after recovering from a slight knock on Wednesday.

KwaZulu-Natal will also host another Premiership match on Sunday - a local derby between the disjointed Maritzburg United and Thanda Royal Zulu at Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

Bernard Parker, who scored in Thanda's 4-2 win over Moroka Swallows on Wednesday, is once again expected to lead Amabhubesi's attack with renewed enthusiasm.

Clement Mazibuko, who scored a brace, should also pose serious threats to Gordon Igesund's side.

Igesund will rely on Brice Aka and Manuel "Tico Tico" Bucuane for goals.