Mashego in the frame for Bucs debut

PROMOTED Orlando Pirates attacking midfielder Cyril Mashego, 20, is to make his debut against Free State Stars tonight.

The defending champions welcome Stars in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium in Soweto at 7.30pm - the same venue where Stars eliminated Pirates from the Nedbank Cup on Saturday.

Striker Bongani Ndulula is expected to make his comeback for Pirates.

Pirates will be minus key players Andile Jali, Daine Klate and Siyabonga Sangweni, who are all suspended.

Isaac Chansa, Ruben Cloete, Thulasizwe Mbuyane and Portuguese Luis Boa Morta are nursing injuries.

"It never rains but pours for us," said coach Augusto Palacios. "We are forced to chop and change the squad because of injuries and suspensions . [but] there is no way they will beat us this time."

On Mashego, Palacios said: "I know him very well, he is from our academy and has played in major global development competitions. Cyril was selected player of the tournament at the Manchester United Premier Cup in England two years ago.

"The young man is part of the camp for the game against Stars."

Stars coach Steve Komphela, who is expected to be named as a joint assistant coach for Bafana Bafana tomorrow, is expecting a tough match.

"Like all the other games, we will work hard to get a win. We are ready for them," said the former Bafana Bafana skipper.

Stars will look to the likes of Edward Manqele and Paulos Masehe to embarrass Pirates again.