South African giants Orlando Pirates will be without defensive link man Abbubaker Mobara when they clash with FC Platinum in their Caf Champions League Group B clash at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.
By Fortune Mbele
Mobara sustained an injury when the Buccaneers played a 2-2 draw against Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium at the weekend.
Zimbabwean Kudakwashe Mahachi scored the equaliser for Pirates to get a point away from home.
Mobara has been ruled out for a week and missed the league game against Chippa United yesterday.
Another midfielder, Ben Motshwari, has been out since November as he recovers from a knee injury.
After beating Namibia’s African Stars to qualify for the group stages of the Caf Champions League on December 22, Pirates have played one competitive match, where they drew against Highlands Park, having suffered a shock defeat to Baroka FC in the final of the Telkom Knockout, two weeks before that.
FC Platinum last played a competitive game on December 22 when they played a goalless draw against Congolese side AS Otoho also to progress to the group stages of the Caf Champions League.
Defender Kevin Moyo, who missed three matches against CNaPS Sport of Madagascar and AS Otoho, bounces back from injury and is expected to feature against Pirates.
After Pirates, FC Platinum take on African champions Esperance of Tunisia in Tunis next Friday in their next group stages tie.
The Zimbabwe-based platinum miners were set to arrive in Bulawayo late yesterday to ramp up their preparations for the big match.
They are set to have their first training session at the venue this morning with Pirates expected on Friday.
FC Platinum were forced to host their home matches away from Mandava Stadium, as the facility does not meet the minimum requirements.
Pirates will be parading two Zimbabweans, Mahachi and midfielder Marshal Munetsi.