Reports & Previews

Orlando Pirates v African Stars

Orlando Pirates must contend with an artificial surface as they look to reach the CAF Champions League group stages at the expense of African Stars on Saturday.

The qualifying first-round tie is delicately poised after Milutin Sredojevic's side were held to a goalless draw in the first leg at the Orlando Stadium last weekend.

The Buccaneers head to the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek knowing a scoring draw will be enough to see them through to the group phase.

Pirates have plenty of goals in them after putting eight past Lightstars in the previous round, while they scored five in their last two domestic games.

Sredojevic is not about to take the Namibian champions lightly though, insisting that Bucs need to lift their game if they want to continue their journey in Africa's elite club competition.

"We shall do everything that is needed to prepare ourselves for the artificial grass where the ball is bouncing differently, and this is one of the factors that need to be calculated to get ready for the game away," the Serbian said to the press.

"Football is just serving us humble pie that could teach us lessons and telling us that we are still not in the group stages.

"Maybe in our mind, we were thinking we shall get the results convincingly and whatever. But this cannot happen if we don't work extra hard and are good enough in the field of play.

"We were not good enough to win the (first-leg) game. Let's be clear and put the hand on our heart, be critical, and go back to the drawing board, improving all aspects of the game that will help us to win and go to the group stages."

Stars were faced with a similar situation in the last round when they kept Volcan at bay in the away leg before running out 2-1 victors on home soil.

The stalemate in Soweto last time out came as a big morale-booster after suffering a heavy 5-1 defeat to league leaders Black Stars earlier this month.