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'Pirates have muscle to handle Al Ahly'

Orlando Pirates will play Al Ahly in a two-legged CAF Championship final in two weeks.

Orlando pirates logo

JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates return home from their successful trip to Tunisia later this afternoon, having booked themselves a spot in the CAF Champions League Final thanks to a 1-1 draw with Esperance.

They will now play Al Ahly in the final over two legs.

The first leg will be played on the first weekend of November at home followed by the second away leg.

Former Pirates defender Gavin Lane says that experience of winning at Al Ahly will give Roger De Sa's squad enormous confidence.

"We have beaten them at their home ground. Hopefully we can carry on with that. With the squad we have at the moment, hopefully the guys who are injured get back, it's going to be difficult, but we need to go out there and perform well."

Lane says the Egyptian side are an ominous prospect, but Pirates will be confident of repeating their feat of winning in Egypt again.

"It's a nice boost to know that we have beaten them before and we know the way they play. They have quality players in their team. But definitely at the moment we are rubbing our hands together and saying that ee can go out there and have another star on our shirt."

It's a busy week for Pirates with their upcoming Telkom Knockout quarterfinal match against Golden Arrows before the Soweto derby on Saturday.

Lane says the fixture congestion is something that the team will welcome.

"I feel sorry for Roger because these games just keep coming at him. Thank goodness they have a big squad. Few years ago when we played we might have not been able to do so many games in so many days. But he has a big squad and he needs to utilise all the players."

Losing out on the MTN8 as well as Chiefs winning the double last year, means that perhaps there's added pressure on De Sa to win silverware to appease the fans, something that Lane agrees with.

"It will take a lot of pressure off Roger. Hopefully the guys can get another star that will be great for South African soccer and Orlando Pirates."