South African club Orlando Pirates welcome Tunisians Sportif Sfaxien for a CAF Confederation Cup encounter at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday, and their coach believes he knows what needs to be done to secure a victory at home.
The match will be crucial for the way in which Group B will end. With only eight teams remaining in the competition, the two sides that progress from Group B will move straight into the semi-finals of the tournament.
The Soweto side are in a comfortable position, placing second in the group with six points behind Zamalek on nine points, while Sfaxien and AC Leopards languish on a single point each at the bottom of the group.
Pirates coach Eric Tinkler is aware of the threat that Sfaxien pose, and spoke frankly about what his team needs to do.
“We are playing against a very good team that has nothing to lose but to come here and attack us in order to get a win. They know the importance of getting the three points to still stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals,” the coach told AFKSports.
“On the other hand we can possibly secure a semi-final birth should we win and Zamalek win their game,” he added.
“Sfaxien is a very good team going forward and are a serious threat in attack. We need to defend very well to ensure that we do not concede a goal. We need to ensure that we expose them in transition and look to break forward with speed and be ruthless in front of goal,” said the former Bafana defender, who represented European clubs such as Vitoria de Setubal and Uniao de Tomar in Portugal, Cagliari in Italy and Barnsley in England.
“If we can get a early goal I believe that it will effect them negatively and make our task a lot easier,” he concluded.
A victory in Johannesburg may qualify Pirates for the semi-finals, depending on the outcome of the Zamalek – AC Leopards encounter, while a Sfaxien win would give the Tunisian club a chance in the remaining two games of the group stage.
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