Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi says they know nothing about United FC whom they face this Saturday night in a Nedbank Cup last-16 clash at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium.
“We know they play in the NFD but that’s about it. There is not much videos about them too so it’s difficult to know what we’re facing. But we’ll be ready; it gives us a chance to focus on ourselves only and not to worry about the opposition.”
Former Kaizer Chiefs dribbling wizard Junior Khanye and former Pirates playmaker Thembile Kanono are part of the United squad.
“Look we will show them respect and gauge ourselves during the game. I can’t say we’ll go out there and beat them, these NFD sides are tough and always raise their games against teams from the top league.”
“I am sure certain players will want to show that they can play in the PSL and I am expecting them to attack, but we’ll see. I have two yellow cards and if I play I cannot hold back in what I do and if I get another yellow then you know, that’s the way the game goes,” the defender said.
Pirates are facing Moroka Swallows in the league after their Nedbank Cup match and coach Ruud Krol says they will discuss the issue of players on yellow cards tomorrow.
“If I we rest the players with yellow cards then my whole backline is out. We will discuss it and see what we can do, but we will send in a strong team,” he said.
Lekgwathi, Rooi Mahamutsa, Rueben Cloete, Robyn Johannes and Oupa Manyisa are some of the players who have two cautions each.
“Preparations have gone well and the players are ready to win this, to bounce back. We know we can do it but we face an unknown team, but we will give our best to go to the next round.”
Kickoff is at 8:15pm at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium.
Meanwhile Platinum Stars coach Owen Da Gama says they respect Vasco Da Gama striker Sibusiso Zuma but won’t focus on him only when they clash in a Nedbank Cup match on Saturday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
“I wrote him off when he was at Sundowns, but look how he has proved many wrong. He is without a doubt a key player for Vasco and one to watch, but we cannot keep an eye on him only,” he said.
“They a good team and they have shown their quality this season. We won’t underestimate them although we have home ground advantage. This is a cup match and anything can happen.”
Da Gama though is stressing about seven players that are on two yellow cards each which also affected the team throughout the season. They are Old John Mabizela, Stanley Kgatla, Sol Mathe, Thuso Phala, Dillon Sheppard, Sibusiso Msomi and Joseph Malongoane.
“This season has been up and down for us, injuries and suspensions stop us from fielding a consistent team and it cost us. For this game we’ll be taking a risk but what can we do, the game has to be played with the best team.”
Sheppard, who has not played for nearly two months, says he is desperate for first team action.
“I train hard and am dedicated to this club, but because of injuries and suspensions I missed a few games and more importantly the players are doing well. I don’t expect to walk in to the first team but I have put in the work,” he said.
“Playing at home is a huge plus but if we don’t take our chances then we will struggle against Vasco who have surprised everyone this season. They have done really well in the league and in a tournament like this everyone wants the first prize.”
The last 16 matches of the Nedbank Cup will continue on Sunday with Moroka Swallows facing SAFA-Limpopo’s Vodacom League side, Baroka FC in Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium while Witbank Spurs entertain hometown rivals, Mpumalanga Black Aces at Puma Rugby Stadium. Kick-Off for the Sunday matches is 3pm.-PSL