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Pirates face the leopards of Swaziland at home-away-from-home



To maintain their place at the top of Group B’s standings in the Café Confederation Cup, Orlando Pirates will likely have to beat eSwatini’s Royal Leopards when the teams meet tomorrow at Mbombela Stadium.

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At the moment, Pirates occupy the top spot in the mini-ranking in goal difference, but they are on a par with Libya’s second-placed Al-Ittihad and Algeria’s JS Saoura, while Leopards are in last place because they failed to score a point.

Bucs and Saoura have played two matches, while Ittihad and Leopards have played one match each.

The Buccaneers started their Confed Cup campaign on a very positive note, beating the Algerians 2-0 at home, then going down 3-2 to Itttihad in Libya in a game where the Soweto giants gave their all and just were unlucky to walk away without at least a point.

Right winger Bandile Shandu scored twice for the Buccaneers, with the versatile player showing his importance in the squad to co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.

Looking at their campaign in this league last season at this stage, Pirates lost only one match against Nigerian club Enyimba, and they only qualified for the knockout stage after coming second to the Nigerians.

Ittihad’s loss certainly won’t be something that will demoralize the Buccaneers, especially as it’s still early in the tournament and they need to host the Libyan club.

In the game against Leopards, the game is scheduled as an away game for Pirates, but since they will be playing on a ground they know, they will definitely feel at home. The eSwatini club couldn’t get a suitable venue for this clash under the Café rules, so they chose Mbombela Stadium, which is more than three hours away from eSwatini.

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