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SA SOCCER NEWS
Pirates without Vilakazi for Wits clash 20/08/04
Orlando Pirates could head into their SAA Supa 8 clash with Wits without Bafana Bafana star Benedict Vilakazi, according to coach Kosta Papic.

Papic feels the diminutive midfielder deserves a break following a hectic week in which he travelled to Russia for trials, then to Tunisia for South Africa's friendly international against the African champions on Wednesday night.

"Benedict could possibly not play this Sunday," Papic said on the Buccaneers' official website.

"He has traveled to Europe for trials and was also part of the Bafana Bafana squad that played African champions Tunisia in a friendly international on Wednesday night.

"We will just have to wait to see how the player feels after all this traveling, because it might take a bit out of him."

Should Tsp not make the starting line-up on Sunday, he will almost certainly be among the substitutes, as the industrious Vilakazi is the sort of player that can turn defence into attack in one sweeping move and his knack for scoring crucial goals will not have gone unnoticed.

The Buccaneers could also be without three more key players in defenders Papi Khomane, Lucky Lekgwathi and midfielder Steve Lekoelea.

Captain Khomane is still serving suspension following the red-card he received in Pirates' final Castle Premiership match last season against Ajax Cape Town, while Lekoelea twisted his ankle during a friendly against Silver Stars on Saturday and is rated extremely doubtful for Sunday's clash.

"Steve and Lucky both have injuries and could miss this game," said Papic. "But there is a better chance of Lucky playing, we are awaiting the doctor's report on his injury.

However, Papic remained confident of a good result against Wits.

"Their injuries do not affect my plans especially for a game of this magnitude. We are expecting a tough game."

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