Caf Confederation Cup: Predicting Orlando Pirates' XI to face RS Berkane

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Orlando Pirates 2020.
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The Buccaneers are a game away from claiming continental silverware so in this match they should field their strongest team against the Moroccans

Orlando Pirates clash against RS Berkane in the Caf Confederation Cup final in Uyo, Nigeria on Friday.

After a difficult campaign on the domestic scene, the Buccaneers are seeking reprieve on the continent which would give a good chance for the future of co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.

Pirates have not won any trophy in Africa since 1996 when they clinched the Caf Super Cup.

But they have a chance to finally end the long wait at Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Friday in what would be a success story for South African football.

GOAL predicts how Ncikazi and Davids could assemble their starting team to overpower Berkane.

  1. GOALKEEPER - Richard Ofori
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    GOALKEEPER - Richard Ofori

    The Ghanaian star was outstanding in the last match against Al Ahli Tripoli at home, playing an instrumental role to help the Buccaneers reach the final with some crucial saves.

    Although he conceded in that 1-0 home defeat, it was the first time for him to ship in a goal after four clean sheets in all competitions.

    In the Confederation Cup, Ofori has kept five clean sheets in seven games and Pirates would be hoping he continues on that slate.

  2. LEFT-BACK - Innocent Maela
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    LEFT-BACK - Innocent Maela

    Maela would be buoyed by his return to the Bafana Bafana squad and keen to impress and send a message to coach Hugo Broos that he deserves to be in the final 23-man squad for the upcoming international assignments.

    Since the injury to Paseka Mako, Maela has been the preferred left-back and he has done well in that position.

  3. RIGHT-BACK - Abel Mabaso
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    RIGHT-BACK - Abel Mabaso

    Mabaso is one of the experienced players in this Pirates squad and a key player needed in the final.

    After being deployed as a central midfielfder earlier on in the season, he has been switched back to his natural role on the right side of defence.

  4. CENTRE-BACK - Happy Jele
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    CENTRE-BACK - Happy Jele

    Jele is facing a personal moment to reach a milestone as Pirates captain by lifting the Confederation Cup as their skipper.

    He was a bit jittery against Al Ahli Tripoli last weekend and that demands he improves his performance in this high stakes game.

  5. CENTRE-BACK - Olisa Ndah
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    CENTRE-BACK - Olisa Ndah

    The Nigerian has been one of Pirates' best signings this season and has established himself as a trusted rock at the back.

    He will be playing in his home country and could be enjoying some support from his compatriots in the stands.

  6. CENTRAL MIDFIELER - Thabang Monare
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    CENTRAL MIDFIELER - Thabang Monare

    The 32-year-old midfielder missed Pirates' last five games due to fitness issues but has recovered and was on the bench against the LIbyans last Sunday.

    He is one player with a lot of experience needed for a match of such magnitude.

  7. CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Goodman Mosele
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    CENTRAL MIDFIELDER - Goodman Mosele

    Another Pirates player who has proven to be a good signing together with Bandile Shandu and Ndah.

    Mosele's ability to manoeuvre the midfield going forward and backtracking to defend has helped the Soweto giants to win some battles in the middle of the park.

  8. ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - Thembinkosi Lorch
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    ATTACKING MIDFIELDER - Thembinkosi Lorch

    Lorch has not been at his best this season but cannot be ruled out to influence any game at any moment.

    He would be out to justify his Bafana Bafana call-up as well as prove his critics wrong.

    He is a player used to such high calibre games, notably grabbing the winner when Bafana eliminated hosts Egypt at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

  9. RIGHT MIDFIELDER - Bandile Shandu
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    RIGHT MIDFIELDER - Bandile Shandu

    Shandu is joint second top-scorer in this competition with four goals and scoring two more in one match would put him at par with the top marksman.

    He has thrived more as a right-back but Pirates coaches have of late been deploying him on the right side of midfield.

  10. LEFT MIDFIELDER - Deon Hotto
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    LEFT MIDFIELDER - Deon Hotto

    The Namibian star was quiet in the last game against Al Ahli Tripoli and would be keen for an improved performance on Friday.

    He has featured in all Pirates' 11 Confederation Cup games but is yet to score and this is a platform to hit back at his critics.

  11. CENTRE-FORWARD - Kwame Peprah
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    CENTRE-FORWARD - Kwame Peprah

    The hero of the semi-final, second leg with his goal sending Pirates to a penalty shootout where they beat Simba.

    Most hopes for goals are on Peprah as he is set to spearhead the Buccaneers attack and add on to his two goals in 10 Confederation Cup outings.