However, City defender Taariq Fielies, who has just recovered after he had his appendix removed, is optimistic that they will keep a clean sheet. The 26-year-old defender made his return in their 1-1 stalemate against Golden Arrows last week.
"As a defender my aim is always to avoid conceding, so against Pirates it's no
different. I am positive that we can keep them at bay and get a clean sheet," said Fielies.
"It's about time the team stopped conceding goals. I feel like I am the solution to that [leaky defence]. I am very happy to be back and I am ready to help the team challenge for the league," he said.
A few weeks ago, McCarthy underlined the importance of Fielies in the heart of Cape Town City rearguard, saying the defender would bring "calmness and aggression".
"The coach has always had faith in me. I want to prove him right by giving my all in all games. It was humbling hearing him speaking fondly about me," said Fielies.
City will be without defender in Abbubaker Mobara. The ex-Bucs man will be out for at least two months due to an ankle injury. Pirates, meanwhile, will count on the form of Tshegofatso Mabasa, who netted thrice in the last two games, to see them to victory.
Fixtures (3pm unless stated)
Today: Maritzburg v Chippa, Harry Gwala Stadium, 8pm
Tomorrow: Arrows v Stellenbosch, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium; Pirates v CPT City, Orlando; Chiefs v Baroka, FNB, 6pm; SuperSport v AmaZulu, Lucas Moripe Stadium, 8.15pm
Sunday: Highlands v Polokwane, Makhulong; Leopards v Celtic, Thohoyandou