Midfield heavyweights set for main bout

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Bucs maintain that Modise looks the stronger candidate on paper, with 12 international caps accumulated in a very short space of time compared to Zothwane’s seven.

Moreover, Modise has scored six international goals while Zothwane who was capped before him is still chasing his first goal.

According to the Absa Premiership match build-up on Pirates’ website, Modise has another advantage in that he also received greater exposure and experience when he was given the key creative role in the Africa Cup of Nations 2008 in Ghana earlier this year.

The last time Bucs’ met Arrows, Zothwane made it his show, running rings around the men in black and white, who were ultimately embarrassed 3-0 in the final of the Asiphephe tournament.

Modise was, at the time, away with Bafana Bafana at the 2008 Afcon in Ghana.

Modise gets a head start going into Saturday evening’s clash in the absence of the man who makes Zothwane tick, Arrows skipper Kagiso Dikgacoi.

The Bafana Bafana strong-man was sent for an early shower in Arrows’ last league game against Moroka Swallows. The coastal team won that match through a disputed late penalty.

Interestingly, Dikgacoi seems to be the one player who makes both play-makers tick. Modise has played his best football for Bafana Bafana when the tough midfielder is behind him to mop up. He plays the same role for Zothwane at Arrows.

Meanwhile, Bucs’ defender Lucky Lekgwathi has expressed his disappointment about the number of days spent on the sidelines this season due to injury.

The former Bafana Bafana star picked up a hamstring injury against Santos last weekend and has since joined Lehlohonolo Seema on the sidelines. Both players are likely to miss most of the remaining Absa Premiership games.

Lekgwathi is set to see the team’s doctor again this afternoon for a further check up as, he says, his knee is still painful.

Orlando Pirates’ communications manager Mickey Modisane tells KickOff.com that Excellent Walaza and Happy Jele have also been ruled out of the game against Arrows this weekend due to suspension, but the good news is that Destin Makita, Bongani Cashibe and Lucas Thwala are back in contention for the starting line up.