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Caf Champions League: Jele promises an improved Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates skipper Happy Jele is confident that his side can go to Zambia and earn a valuable advantage for the home leg of their Caf Champions League Preliminary round match.

Pirates face Green Eagles at the Nkoloma Stadium on Saturday afternoon 10 August.

The stadium seats just 5,000 and is expected to be filled to the brim but Jele feels that Orlando Pirates can win the first leg.

The captain was happy to be playing the first leg away in line with the game’s conventional wisdom when it comes to two-legged knockout ties.

“It is always ideal in Caf to play the away fixture first,” the skipper said before departing for Lusaka.

“We know that we have to go out there and fight to secure a win‚ and then come the second leg we will simply use our home team advantage to finish the job.”

No more underestimating Caf Champions League foes

Pirates failed to get past the Group stage of the Caf Champions League last season. The Buccaneers finished third in their group behind eventual finalists Esperance and Horoya of Guinea.

Happy Jele - Caf Champions League: Jele promises an improved Orlando Pirates
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 03: Musa Nyatama and Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images)

The skipper dismissed any suggestion that his team would underestimate Green Eagles, who finished second in last season’s Zambian Premier League. Pirates have made a terrific start to the season, producing an attractive brand of football and getting results. They won the CBL Cup Soweto Derby before opening their league campaign with a 3-1 home win over Bloem Celtic.

“We know this will be a tough match for us‚” Jele said.

“We are going to face the Eagles on their home turf and we know they will fight for a win – that’s to be expected.

“But we are not exactly going there to gift them with points either.

“We have a good quality side and with the way we have started this season it just felt like all of the hard work we put in at the preseason camps was going to pay off.

“We are an improved Orlando Pirates. We have always had quality and confidence‚ but I believe we have also found the missing ingredient – belief.

“We believe we can compete with the best of them in any competition and that is the mentality and attitude that we are taking into this match in particular‚ and our entire Champion’s League campaign.”

Green Eagles host Orlando Pirates in a Caf Champions League Preliminary round first leg match that kicks off at 15:00 SAST on Saturday 10 August.

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