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Orlando Pirates would be keen to seal Caf Confederation Cup quarter-final qualification from Group A with a match to spare when they welcome ES Setif to Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.
After four rounds of matches, the Soweto giants are yet to taste defeat in their group where they enjoy a two-point lead ahead of second-placed Enyimba.
Victory for Pirates would ensure progression to the last eight with a match to go and see them open a five-point gap at the top, pending Thursday’s clash between Al Ahli Benghazi and Enyimba.
They face a Setif side which has been struggling for consistency in this campaign as they anchor the group with four points although they still stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
Pirates welcome back vice-captain Thulani Hlathswayo, who missed last Sunday’s Premier Soccer League match against Maritzburg United due to suspension.
With captain Happy Jele absent, Hlatshwayo’s return gives coach Josef Zinnbauer more options at the back after the German was forced to hand 20-year-old Thabiso Sesane his first league start against Maritzburg.
Also returning is striker Frank Mhango, who did not feature in the 2-0 win over the Team of Choice as he was suspended.
That is good news for Zinnbauer who, in their last match, had Tshegofatso Mabasa as the only available number nine in the absence of the injured pair of Zakhele Lepasa and Jean-Marc Makusu.
Pirates’ injury woes are far from over as goalkeeper Richard Ofori is still sidelined and Wayne Sandilands is set to continue guarding goal.
It is not yet known if Thembinkosi Lorch, Innocent Maela and Terrence Dzvukamanja have recovered from injuries and they have been on the sidelines for a longer period now.