Orlando Pirates has received a massive boost ahead of their tough DStv Premiership encounter against log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday afternoon at Loftus Versfeld stadium.
Buccaneers club captain Innocent Maela and fellow defender Nkosinathi Sibisi have both returned to full training after picking up injuries during the MTN8 competition. The duo played a significant role when Pirates beat Sundowns 3-0 in MTN8 second leg semi-finals.
Pirates have conceded seven goals in 13 DStv premiership matches this season, and Sibisi and Maela have been regulars for the club since the starts of the season. Both players did not take part in the Carling Black Label Cup due to injuries when the Buccaneers were humiliated by Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, the Buccaneers could be without Olisa Ndah and Richard Ofori who were withdrawn from their countries squads last month due to injuries. The availability of Maela and Sibisi is likely to benefit Riveiro’s 3-4-3 formation. The duo will probably play alongside Tapelo Xoki or Sandile Mthethwa.
Another player who might take part in today’s match is former Baroka striker Evidence Makgopa, who has overcome the ankle injury that delayed his involvement in the Pirates squad in the early part of the season. Makgopa hasn’t played any minutes for the Sea Robbers since he joined the team.
A victory for the Buccaneers could possibly change things on the log table depending on the outcome of the Kaizer Chiefs versus SuperSport United clash on weekend. Pirates are two points behind Both Chiefs and SuperSport.