CAFCL Preview: Djabal Club d’Iconi

Orlando Pirates are back home for their next CAF Champions League assignment, as Comorian champions Djabal Club visit Orlando Stadium for the second leg of their First Preliminary Round tie on Friday night.

A spot in the next round beckons for the Buccaneers after successfully navigating a testing away leg, but that was only half the job done as another important 90 minutes awaits at the iconic venue in Soweto.

Form Guide 

They made that significant step towards the Second Preliminary Round over the weekend when they defeated the Islanders in their own patch to take a slim advantage in the two-legged tie.

The victory was Pirates’ third in five games played across competitions this season, where they have also suffered one defeat and played to a single stalemate, with 11 goals scored and just four conceded.

A victory at home against Djabal will guarantee them a spot in the next preliminary round, setting up a date against one of Jwaneng Galaxy and Vipers, who are in the middle of their own battle for further participation in the prestigious continental competition.

The Soweto Giants will however be against a determined side, with the Comorian champions looking to cause an upset on the road in a bid to qualify past the first round of the continent’s competition for the first time in their history.

They make the trip to Orlando Stadium almost a month before they are set to resume domestic action and will take heart from their performance at home over the weekend, where they managed to hold the Buccaneers off for the majority of the contest.

Team News 

Bucs coach Jose Riveiro has maintained consistency in selection throughout the early part of the campaign, and there could be more of the same on Friday.

However, certain players could be set for bigger roles in the home leg, with Kabelo Dlamini among those likely to get an extended run after making his first appearance of the season off the bench in Moroni.

Meanwhile, the likes of goalkeeper Richard Ofori and defender Sandile Mthethwa could be handed another chance to impress after solid performances in their first start of the campaign over the weekend.

Players to Watch 

Speedy attacker Affane Djambae turned in an eye-catching display on Saturday, and was at the centre of Djabal’s few chances on the day. The 22-year-old troubled the defence and will be eager to add Champions League goals to his already impressive tally.

The Iconi outfit possesses another capable attacker up front in the form of Hachim Abdou who also caught the eye in the home leg, linking up well with Affane.

In defence, the visitors will again look to goalkeeper Mihissoini Anisse, who was able to foil the Buccaneers’ relentless attack until very late in the encounter.

Head-to-Head 

Last Saturday’s fixture made it three encounters between the two sides, with Pirates maintaining a 100% win record through Zakhele Lepasa’s late strike, which handed them a 1-0 victory.

The win also took them 10 unanswered goals to the good, following their 9-0 aggregate win when they met at a similar stage of the competition back in February 2013.

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Djabal Club 

The game is scheduled to kick off at 19:30 and can be streamed live via the PiratesTV channel on YouTube. You can also follow the action by keeping an eye out for live updates shared across Orlando Pirates’ social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

Tickets to attend the game are available for purchase online at TicketPro and in selected outlets nationwide.

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