PORT ELIZABETH - Chippa United coach Teboho Moloi is optimistic his side can beat Orlando Pirates in their Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday.
Moloi, Orlando Pirates legend and former assistant coach, will be facing his former side for the first time.
“This is a massive clash. It is more than just, me, up against Orlando Pirates but between two clubs that have an ambition to finish higher up the table,” said Moloi.
“Our objectives going into this game are clear; we are playing at home in front of our supporters and we are going for maximum points.
"The atmosphere in the stands is going to electrifying; you have Chippa United fans that also like Orlando Pirates and vice versa and we hope by the end of 90 minutes most of the fans will be on our side.
“We of course respect Orlando Pirates but we are not scared; we are playing at home and the objective is to move up the table.
“I am still confident of our chances to finish strongly this season. We might have not been winning games but the draws have kept us in the top eight.
"First round, we drew five games before winning two and we jumped to second position. The gap between teams at the top and in the middle is not big."
Chippa United, though, will miss the services of Kurt Lentjies (stomach bug) and Zitha Macheke (suspended).
Orlando Pirates have also been dealt a setback ahead of the match.
Following the recent news of the injury to newly-signed striker Augustine Mulenga, Micho Sredojevic has been forced to now look at other options with Thabiso Kutumela expected to be out for a lengthy period.
Forward, Kutumela suffered a serious ankle injury earlier this week and looks set to miss the remainder of the season.
According to the Bucs medical team, Kutumela requires surgery on his ankle and is expected to be out for between 3 to 6 months depending on rehabilitation.
The diminutive forward will be sorely missed as the league enters the final stretch. The 24-year old has featured in six of the club’s seven competitive matches played this year.
Meanwhile, in the midst of the disappointment surrounding Mulenga and Kutumela, there has been some positive news coming out of the Bucs camp.
Midfielder Mpho Makola has since been cleared to train fully with the rest of the team.
African News Agency (ANA)