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SA SOCCER NEWS
Bucs set for titanic cup clash against Birds 16/04/04
Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows are two clubs in a similar predicament and they will be squaring up to each other in an Absa Cup quarter-final on Sunday afternoon.

Both are traditional powerhouses of Sowetan soccer, both clubs have a strong and demanding supporter base, and both teams are just outside of the running for the Castle Premiership title, meaning that success in the Absa Cup is one of their few chances of glory this season.

The connections, however, do not end there - the Birds have four current players who made the move from the Buccaneers in recent times - captain Goodman Mazibuko, striker Dennis Lota, attacking midfielder Thabang Lebese and defender Warren Lewis (who is suspended.)

For the Sea Robbers, crowd favourite Steve Lekoelea will, if selected by coach Augusto Palacios, have a chance to play against the club where he started his career as a teenager.

The Pirates faithful will be hoping that the inspirational Benedict Vilakazi recovers from a slight injury as without him the team does not seem to tick properly.

Coach Palacios will as usual be looking to his talented midfield for goals, with the likes of Joseph Makhanya and Bheka Phakathi always likely to get on the scoresheet.

Jimmy Kauleza has tormented the Dube Birds in the past, having scored a hat-trick on debut against them, but his current goals to games ratio does not suggest that Swallows coach Gavin Hunt will lose too much sleep over him.

However, Hunt will know that he desperately needs to sort out his shaky looking defence, who have not yet recovered from the 5-1 loss they suffered at the hands of Santos a few weeks ago.

Hunt does not have any problems in the striking department, however, as Lota will be keen to get one over his former team while Lungisani Ndlela, Carlo Scott and Lebese are all quality strikers.

This is certainly the tie of the round and would have been fitting as the final itself, so fans can expect an action-packed affair at the Johannesburg Stadium on Sunday. (Kick-off is at 15H00).

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