Orlando Pirates beset by injury woes ahead of MTN8 Final

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Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has confirmed that the club have several injury concerns as they prepare for their MTN8 Final against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Lorch and Mabaso ruled out for Orlando Pirates

Pirates will have to pursue the R8 million winners cheque and an end to their long trophy drought without the services of Thembinkosi Lorch and Abel Mabaso.

Zinnbauer is hopeful that defender Thabiso Monyane will recover from his injury in time to play some part in the first cup final of the 2020/21 season.

The head coach provided a limited update on squad fitness as he addressed the media on Wednesday 9 December.

“We have all players [except] Mabaso is injured and Lorch is injured; Monyane is injured, but there’s a chance he can come back [in time for Saturday],” Zinnbauer told reporters.

“Yeah, I think that’s the only thing we have on the injured players.”

Orlando Pirates run to the MTN8 Final has offset a difficult start to the season giving the coach some breathing space as pressure mounts.

Zinnbauer says the mood in the Pirates camp is good and preparations for the match are proceeding swimmingly.

The clash against Siwelele will be Zinnbauer’s first experience of a cup final in South African football nearly a year since his appointment as coach.

“I’m happy we have the final, this was hard work for us, with tough games behind us. Now we are happy to be in the final, and we do our best to try and win this final,” Zinnbauer added.

“We know we have a good opponent in this game, it’s a tough game, the opponent is strong and they won against Sundowns – we know this, we have the information of what they do.

“But we have a plan and I feel a very good spirit in training, the mood is good, and I think we are [headed] in the right direction.”

Can Zinnbauer end the wait?

Pirates are unbeaten this season, but four draws in six league matches have left them four points off early PSL pacesetters and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

On their way to the MTN8 Final Pirates scored a brace of morale-boosting wins over Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

Orlando Pirates have lost their last five cup finals, losing a penalty shootout in the 2018 Telkom Knockout Final against Baroka FC in their most recent attempt.

Bloemfontein Celtic will fancy their chances if the final goes to penalties having seen off Congo DR’s AS Maniema Union in their Caf Confederations Cup Preliminary Round tie last week.

Read: Kaizer Chiefs crisis the worst I’ve seen in over 30-years – Hunt

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