Caf Confederation Cup: Predicting Orlando Pirates' XI to face Al-Ittihad

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Orlando Pirates 2020.
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Bucs will be looking to make it four wins in a row across all competitions when they face the Libyan champions at Orlando Stadium on Sunday

Having already qualified for the knockout phase with a game to spare following their win over JS Saoura in the Group B clash on March 20, Pirates are expected to make changes to their starting line-up.

Goodman Mosele is suspended, while Vincent Pule is still out nursing a long-term injury. 

GOAL predicts the Soweto giants' starting line-up as they look to avenge their 3-2 defeat to Al-Ittihad in the reverse fixture two months ago.

  1. GOALKEEPER - Richard Ofori
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    GOALKEEPER - Richard Ofori

    The Ghana international will be on cloud nine having been part of the Black Stars squad which secured qualification to the 2022 Fifa World Cup finals earlier this week.

    Ofori, who has been in good form for the Buccaneers, will be looking to make it three consecutive clean sheets in the Confederation Cup.

  2. RIGHT-BACK- Ntsikelelo Nyauza
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    RIGHT-BACK- Ntsikelelo Nyauza

    The experienced defender has re-cemented his place in Bucs starting line-up in the last few months thanks to his versatility.

    Nyauza scored the opening goal for the Buccaneers against Saoura while operating as a right-back and he is most likely to continue in this position.

  3. LEFT-BACK - Paseka Mako
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    LEFT-BACK - Paseka Mako

    The hard-working full-back has been an ever-present in Bucs' group stage having started all of the team's five matches.

    Mako will renew his rivalry with Al-Ittihad winger Ahmed Al Haram, who tormented the Bucs star in the reverse fixture and he grabbed an assist.

  4. CENTRAL DEFENDER - Olisa Ndah
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    CENTRAL DEFENDER - Olisa Ndah

    The lanky centre back was able to neutralize Oussama Bellatreche as the Buccaneers kept a clean sheet against Saoura.

    Ndah will now be assigned to man-mark Al-Ittihad targetman Muad Eisay, who created problems for the Bucs defence in Libya and he scored the hosts' second goal.

  5. CENTRAL DEFENDER - Happy Jele
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    CENTRAL DEFENDER - Happy Jele

    The Mpumalanga-born star has had to fight for his place in Pirates' starting line-up in the last few months and he has reclaimed his spot in the team.

    Jele will be determined to lead the Buccaneers to win over Al-Ittihad which would see the Soweto giants finish top of Group B.

  6. CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Abel Mabaso
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    CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Abel Mabaso

    The utility player offers some defensive solidity in midfield which allows the likes of Thabang Monare and Goodman Mosele to push forward.

    Mabaso exceled in this position against Saoura and he will be looking to replicate the same form when he faces another North African side.

  7. CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Thabang Monare
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    CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Thabang Monare

    The experienced midfielder missed the game against Saoura due to injury, but he has since recovered and started both of Bafana’s games against Guinea and France.

    Monare will slot into central midfield as he fills the void left by Goodman Mosele, who will be serving his suspension in the Confederation Cup after being sent off in North Africa.

  8. RIGHT FORWARD  - Bandile Shandu
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    RIGHT FORWARD - Bandile Shandu

    The in-form player is enjoying his football at the moment having made his international debut for Bafana in their draw against Guinea last week.

    Shandu provided the assist for Pirates' second goal in their impressive 2-0 victory over Saoura in Algeria.

  9. LEFT FORWARD - Deon Hotto
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    LEFT FORWARD - Deon Hotto

    The well-travelled attacker continues to deliver for the Buccaneers week in week out having provided his eighth assist of the seaosn across all competitions against Saoura.

    Hotto has also done well in front of goal having scored seven goals this term and he will be keen to add to his tally.

  10. CENTRE FORWARD - Kwame Peprah
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    CENTRE FORWARD - Kwame Peprah

    The bulky striker has been under pressure in the last few months having failed to score in his last four competitive matches for Bucs.

    The Pirates technical team could keep their faith in Peprah due to his ability to link up play well as a centre forward as he did against Saoura.