By Michael Madyira
The Buccaneers were edged 1-0 in the second preliminary round, first-leg away in Botswana and will be pushing to overturn that deficit at home on Friday.
Jose Riveiro’s men need an outright victory at Orlando Stadium to advance to the group stage.
Also key for Pirates will be avoiding conceding to Jwaneng Galaxy, who could score an away goal that would be crucial to take them to the group phase.
“Friday’s game is going to be massive for us,” Riveiro told the media.
“We have an opportunity to go to the group stages of the African Champions League and our focus is on Jwaneng.
“We have a difficult task; it is going to be very difficult against Jwaneng. They are leading 1-0 but we know and understand our responsibility.”
In recent games, Pirates forward Zakhele Lepasa has been struggling for goals following some terrific scoring form at the start of the season.
All eyes will be on the 26-year-old to rediscover his scoring touch.
Other forwards like Evidence Makgopa, Beinvenu Eva Nga, Patrick Maswanganyi, Kabelo Dlamini and Kermit Erasmus are expected to raise their hands and make up for the lack of goals.
It is the first time Riveiro has been coaching in the Champions League and the Spaniard is already thinking about reaching the final.
“If we manage to go to the group stage, we are going to get a motivational boost that’s going to help us to face the final,” he said.
“So if we want to go to the final stronger than usual, it is important to win the next game of this period on Friday.”
The Buccaneers last reached the Champions League final in 2013.
Pictured above: Orlando Pirates attackers Zakhele Lepasa and Monnapule Saleng
Image source: Orlando Pirates