CAF Champions League Preview: Jwaneng Galaxy

Orlando Pirates resume action this weekend as they travel to Gaborone for the first leg of their CAF Champions League Second Preliminary Round tie against Jwaneng Galaxy at Botswana National Stadium on Sunday.

Botswana’s reigning champions stand between the Buccaneers and an extended run in the continent’s premier club competition as they look to successfully navigate one final hurdle to claim a spot in the group stage.

Form Guide 

They head into the clash after enjoying a brief break from competition brought upon by the September international break.

Pirates won four games in a row prior to the break and will be looking to ensure that their momentum is recovered as they seek an early advantage in this important tie.

Their recent victories include a 4-0 aggregate win against Djabal Club in the opening round of the Champions League as well as a hard-fought 2-1 victory away to Stellenbosch in the MTN8 semifinals.

The Soweto Giants have been sharp on both ends of the field over the past month, netting eight goals and only conceding once in their last four games, and will hope to continue the trend in Botswana’s capital.

Their opponents will however not be short on confidence after brushing past Uganda’s Vipers in the competition’s First Preliminary Round.

In their two competitive fixtures since clinching their second Botswana Premier League title, Morena Ramoreboli’s charges showed no rustiness in drawing first blood with a 2-0 win at home to the East Africans en route to a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Team News 

Both teams have received a notable boost in the form of international players returning to camp in the lead-up to the clash.

Five Bucs players featured for South Africa in Friendlies against Namibia and DR Congo, while Deon Hotto squared up against his club teammates for the Brave Warriors over the weekend.

Pirates’ returning contingent is completed by goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who was part of the Ghana squad that secured AFCON 2024 qualification during the international break.

The hosts have three players of their own rejoining camp after being included in the Botswana squad that took on Tunisia last Thursday.

Players to Watch 

In Galaxy, the Buccaneers will meet a side boasting valuable experience as well as attacking firepower. 

Attacking midfielder Thabang Sesinyi has been their most potent goal threat, netting eight times in his last five appearances in all competitions including the Champions League, where he scored a brace at home to Vipers.

He is joined up front by the experienced Gilbert Baruti, while the likes of Kitso Mangolo and Namibian international Dynamo Fredericks provide some defensive stability. 

Head-to-Head 

The two sides have crossed paths in continental competition, following their participation in the 2020/21 edition of the CAF Confederation Cup.

They locked horns in the final playoff round of the tournament, where the Buccaneers netted three unanswered goals in the away leg before completing a 4-0 aggregate victory with a 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium.

How to Follow Orlando Pirates vs Jwaneng Galaxy 

The game kicks off at 15:00 and will not be televised. You can follow the action by keeping an eye on live updates posted across Orlando Pirates social media platforms including the Club’s official mobile app.

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