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Orlando Pirates are looking for nothing less than three points in their African Champions League Group A clash against AC Leopards in Dolisie, Congo on Saturday, kickoff is at 3:30pm (CAT).

The two opened proceedings of the mini-league phase in July and on the day the spoils were shared with a goalless draw in Soweto.

Now with a lot to play for for both sides, especially for Pirates, who will see a win take them to the last four is exactly what coach Roger De Sa and his troops are intending to do in the West African nation on Saturday.

“We made it hard for ourselves by losing in Egypt (against Zamalek on September 1)-now we have to up our game and try hard to get a good result in Congo,” De Sa told the club’s official website (http://www.orlandopiratesfc.com).

“Nothing is lost; we go to Congo with our spirits still high. This is a crucial week for us-we will be missing a few key players that is why the sessions from Monday we will have to be quite specific.” he continued.

Pirates will be without Happy Jele, Thabo Matlaba and Andile Jali for the trip to Congo after they both picked up bookings against Zamalek in Egypt two weeks ago that rules them out of contention for a first-team berth against Leopards this weekend.

Also missing for them will be Zambian Collins Mbesuma and midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo, who are both out through injury but it is said that they are making great recovery progress and should be back on the field in the next couple of weeks.

A win for Leopards will revitalise their chances of a semi-final berth and after losing twice in succession to Ahly they will surely come out guns blazing in pursuit of victory and for the semi-final objective as their mentor Joseph Omog said after the defeat to Ahly in El Gouna 10 days ago.

Pirates depart for Congo on Friday morning.

By Edward May

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