Bucs ‘must improve’ against Downs

2011-09-23 12:57

Orlando Pirates coach Julio Leal says the title holders have some work to do after a wobbly start to the Premiership season, and will look to improve in problem areas when they host Mamelodi Sundowns in Soweto on Sunday night.

“We want to improve tactically and physically for this game and improve in our finishing,” Leal said.

After a rocky start to the season, Leal said the Buccaneers would make some changes after going down 2-1 against perennial rivals Kaizer Chiefs last week.

“Usually, I like to keep the same team regardless of the previous result,” Leal said. “But with players coming back from injuries, I will take the best decision closer to the game.”

If Bucs striker Thulasizwe Mbuyane had recovered from a niggling injury, Leal said he was likely to spearhead the attack, but the coach did not rule out the possibility of Benni McCarthy starting instead.

“Juju (Mbuyane) is supposed to be first option if he is fit. He’s near 100 percent,” Leal said. “Benni is also training and is better, but let’s see how tactical training goes ahead of the match and how he shapes up.”

Elsewhere tomorrow, Kaizer Chiefs will look to extend their one-point lead at the top of the standings when they face Bloemfontein Celtic at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium.

Golden Arrows host Santos in Umlazi, outside Durban, while Wits are at home to AmaZulu in Joburg, and Maritzburg United travel to Polokwane where they face Black Leopards.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Platinum Stars will be eager to climb to the top half of the table when they square up against SuperSport United in Atteridgeville.

Stars have not picked up a point in their two matches on the road this season, but they boast an impressive league record against United, having lost only two of eight away games to the former three-time champions.

SuperSport are unbeaten this season, but Stars coach Owen da Gama expects his young squad to rise to the challenge.

“We will see on Sunday what some of our players are made of,” Da Gama said today.

“They will need to show some steel and I am confident they have it within them – it is just whether they can produce it when it counts.

“The game will be a great learning curve for us, and I believe any side is beatable in this league. We have prepared well, so we go there with some confidence, but also acknowledge that we are up against a very good side.”

Also on Sunday, Moroka Swallows are at home to log bottom Jomo Cosmos at Rand Stadium.
Ajax Cape Town host Free State Stars tonight in the only other game of the weekend.

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