Pirates hope Lorch and Jele will be ready for Leopards

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Thembinkosi Lorch
Thembinkosi Lorch

Orlando Pirates will go head to head with Black Leopards in the DStv Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday at 5 pm.

The Buccaneers’ hopes of winning this season’s league title took a knock when they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Sundowns at home on Sunday. The Soweto giants, who are winless in their last two games in the league, are placed fifth on the standings — a point behind fourth-placed Swallows and 12 points behind leaders Sundowns.

Josef Zinnbauer, the Pirates head coach, is hoping that Thembinkosi Lorch and Happy Jele will be ready for their clash with Leopards with the duo having struggled with injuries this season.

“I think Lorch can start [on Monday] or after [on Tuesday] maybe with a training session with the team — I hope, I don’t know,” said Zinnbauer. “Hopefully he is available for us in the next game or next games. I hope Happy Jele is also ready, but he can’t make the long ball and that is the problem. “He feels the pain but he is also my club captain and we need the experience that he has.”

All Leopards’ games now ‘finals’

READ | Sundowns reclaim pole position after thrashing Pirates

Meanwhile, Leopards boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the top flight league when they claimed a 2-1 win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) away on Saturday.

Lidoda Duvha are now are undefeated in their last three games in the league and they are placed 16th on the standings.

Lehlohonolo Seema, the Leopards head coach, says their remaining games in the league are cup finals starting with a clash against his former side, Pirates.

“We haven’t moved, we’re still bottom of the log but this win [against TTM] is a step in the right direction,” said Seema. “All our remaining games are like a cup final now.

“We have five games left, meaning there are still 15 points to fight for, so we must now plan for each game as it comes.”

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