Cape Town — The gloves are off says Baroka FC coach Kgoloko Thobejane as Orlando Pirates look to plunder the points at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, on Tuesday (start 7.30pm).
There has been some fighting talk from the charismatic Thobejane, who believes his team has a plan in place but it is a matter of execution.
Thobejane has urged his charges not to be intimidated by Pirates, who count among the 'Big Three' of South African football.
"Some of these teams are just big names but they don’t scare us because we are here to compete against anyone," said Thobejane.
“Our plan has not changed much. Our position on the log standings is not good at the moment and we need those points on offer," said Thobejane,
"Our next match is against Pirates and if you want to be the best, you must beat the best.
“That’s how the game goes. It will be eleven against eleven on the pitch."
The Namibian winger Deon Hotto and midfielder Ben Motshwari will spearhead Orlando Pirates' drive for Premiership victory against hosts Baroka
Hotto has not always been among the goals but he has several assists after workmanlike performances which he has crowned by providing scoring feeds in the striking zone.
Although used essentially out wide in the left channels when the Pirates are on the attack, Hotto has stalked into central positions where he has used his skills to good effect. He was excellent in the role of linkman in Pirates' build-up work.
The hard-running Motshwari is on a comeback after an injury-enforced lat-off and had a run in a reserve match against Stellenbosch over the weekend. The outing would have helped him to regain full fitness and when he is at his best, Pirates will dominate the midfield battles.
Along Motshwari there is fellow midfielder Fortune Makaringe who is improving with every outing and augers well for the team's ambition to secure a second-place on the standings when the Premiership season ends next month.
For Baroka, defender Denwin Farmer could prove a thorn in Pirates' side with his relentless tackles. He runs down every opposition attack as it approaches the goalmouth and has a habit of harassing opponents in the stroking zone.
The other danger in the Baroka is the towering Bafana Bafana striker Evidence Makgopa. He has not been amongst the goals of late because his team have been mostly under the whip, and when they breakthrough, they turned over possession in the final third.