Preview - Moroka Swallows v Pirates
Moroka Swallows will be looking to do the league double over rivals Orlando Pirates when they clash in the Soweto Derby at Olenpark Stadium in Potchefstroom on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.30pm).
Coach Ian Gorowa's men beat the 'Buccaneers' 1-0 earlier in the 2007/08 Absa Premiership season, and are currently in fifth position in the league standings. Pirates are in seventh place at present.
Swallows, however, will be without the services of James Chamanga, whilst the 'Dube Birds' have also been hit by a string of injuries; although coach Gorowa (pictured) is confident his squad has the depth to cover for those who are unavailable this week.
Patrick Thwala is out with a slight injury, whilst new signing Siphesihle Ngobese faces a four-week lay-off because of a troublesome knee.
Gorowa told morokaswallows.co.za that preparations have been going well, despite these injuries.
"We have been working hard since resuming training and the lads are ready for battle," he said, "I am sure we will do well."
However, the 'Birds' coach is aware of the fact that it is never easy facing Pirates.
He said: "It's always very difficult playing Pirates as they are a very, very tough team.
"Obviously we will be going out looking for maximum points and I'm sure the team will push for a win."
The 'Buccaneers' have injury problems of their own, with the technical team sweating on the fitness of Excellent Walaza. Pirates' leading goal-scorer has not been training with the team this week, but has been included in the squad for Wednesday's match.
Pirates' defence has also been hit by injuries and coach Owen da Gama will be glad to have skipper Lehlohonolo Seema back from injury to provide some stability to the back line.
"I am worried, though, that we have conceded five goals in our last three friendlies," admitted Da Gama. "Those are not good statistics."
He added: "Seema has almost fully recovered, but coming back from injury straight into a game of this magnitude is not an ideal situation, but what can we do?"