Orlando Pirates have done their homework on Angola side Sagrada Esperança and have an idea of what to expect when the two sides meet in a Caf Confederation Cup first round first leg match on Tuesday at the Estádio dos Coqueiros in Luanda.
The Soweto giants got a bye in the first qualification stage while Esperança were given a walk over to the next stage after Mbabane Swallows of Eswatini pulled out of the competition for financial reasons.
Coach Josef Zinnbauer and his men are determined to start their campaign on a positive note with the German tactician saying, “It’s Christmas time and we have no gift for our opponent, and we have to fight for points.”
According to Zinnbauer, the club managed to obtain footage of their opponents, and based on what he saw, the coach believes his troops are going to have a tough time as they will attempt to overcome Esperança in their own back yard. “We have information about the team, and we know what we have to do against them,” said Zinnbauer.
“It is not going to be an easy game for us because away games are always difficult on the continent. The opponent is not so bad, and they look good because I have watched them together with the other coaches when we were analysing them.”
On the domestic front, the ‘Buccaneers’ have given their fans an early Christmas present after clinching the MTN8 title and ended the DStv Premiership for the year with a narrow 1-0 win over Chippa United on Wednesday night.
Zinnbauer said now that they had completed their domestic assignments for the year‚ their focus would be on the trip to Angola. “Esperança have a good team, a strong team and they play very, good when defending, and also in the offense have good players,” added the Pirates coach.
“We don’t have 100% information about what they did in the last 10 days and maybe they signed new players. We get information but it’s not 100% and it’s not so easy to get information about this club.
“They don’t have a league at the moment, they have a small tournament. We have information about this club, what they do, which player they play, and they changed a lot in their last game. We have to fight, and we need full concentration of this game,” concluded Zinnbauer.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Orlando Pirates